Giacomo Puccini, a famous author of Manon Lescaut (1893), La bohème (1896) and Tosca (1900), had no reason at all to doubt that Madama Butterfly premiered at La Scala in Milan in 1904 would be just another triumph. Nevertheless, it was a disastrous première only to witness well-deserved ovations at its second première at Brescia after Puccini revised it into a three act opera. He was completely sure that audience and critics’ expectations were important but that they were in no direct relation with the opera content or its modernity and even less with the strength of its artistic expression. Puccini mostly relied on opera’s musical atmosphere and his sense was impeccable as he was sure that it was the right and most direct way into audiences’ hearts. Split audiences’ hearts have been waiting for Puccini’s heroine ever since 1985 when it was conducted by Vjekoslav Šutej and directed by Jakša Zlodre.
Premiere: March 26th, 2015