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   September 26
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Arts Calendar / April 5 / Opera
19:00 Madama Butterfly
Opera in two acts by Giacomo Puccini. 160 min (with one intermission). Music Director and Conductor: Jan Latham-Koenig. Performed in Italian with Russian surtitles. Puccini’s Madama Buttery (1904) is ranked among the best classical operas. This work tells a tragic story of love of a young Japanese geisha from Nagasaki for an American lieutenant, and from a broader point of view it speaks of incompatibility of Western and Eastern cultural traditions. “On the back of the enormous European interest in everything Eastern, especially in Japan, Puccini was attracted by the confict between East and West in the plot (as is known, according to Kipling, “never the twain shall meet”). Energetic American pragmatism (“easy and nice”, according to Pinkerton) encroaches on the mysterious Eastern world of entities and destroys it. The integrity of this world is guarded by the young geisha” (Mikhail Muginstein). Puccini’s opera is a product of the modernist art period. Puccini’s Japanese tragedy appeared a year before Strauss’ Salome, a gorgeous modernist flower. In Madama Buttery a lyrical Italian drama is placed in an exotic Japanesque frame. the composer is focused on the character of 15-year-old Cio-Cio-san who goes from being a naive girl to becoming a woman who suffers a psychological drama. Attention to the inner psychological action determines the opera’s slow tempo; several episodes serve as a foil: the wedding ceremony, the Bonze’s curse and Prince Yamadori’s marriage proposal. Madama Buttery is Puccini’s rst opera in which he tried to incorporate the exotic Eastern colouring. the tones of authentic Japanese melodies, Japanese bells and tam-tams in the orchestra — all this creates the imitable aura of one of Puccini’s most widely performed operas.
Novaya Opera Theatre 
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