Madama
Butterfly

1/?

Giacomo Puccini

Japanese tragedy in three acts
Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica
World premiere: 17 February 1904, Regio Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Polish premiere: 3 December 1908, Teatr Wielki, Warsaw
Premiere of this production: 29 May 1999, Polish National Opera, Teatr Wielki, Warsaw
In the original Italian with Polish surtitles 

  • Act I

    ca. 55 min.

  • Intermission

    20 min.

  • Act II

    ca. 55 min.

  • Intermission

    20 min.

  • Act III

    35 min.

Duration: ca. 3 hrs

  • About the production

    ‘It’s easy to stage a revolution when you know nothing,’ says Mariusz Treliński, now the respected winner of an ‘operatic Oscar’, recalling his proper opera debut and acknowledging the impact he had on the transformation of contemporary opera language. He transitioned from film equipped with cinematic narration and raised his hand on opera, which he considered ‘pretentious, bourgeois, irritating, and pandering to poor tastes’. Although Treliński claims that he was ignorant about opera as a young director, that was not really the case: his first film, Farewell to Autumn, based on Witkiewicz’s novel and matching the original’s quality, dazzled with the operatic scale of staging, set design, and the dandy way it flirted with the artificiality of its constraints on which music theatre thrives. Any accusations of Treliński’s musical ignorance are also hugely exaggerated, considering that he illustrated homoerotic antics of the film’s protagonists with Nemorino’s aria from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. That’s enough to suspect that Ciociosan meant for him more than the supermarket brand of Bulgarian vermouth. Setting out to stage the Puccini classic together with set designer Boris Kudlička, Treliński strived for minimalism and stripping Madame Butterfly of its Japanese-style kitsch. Thus, paradoxically, lying at the origins of the greatest Polish opera career of this century was the desire to bring the means of operatic expression to a bare minimum. It is a great, canonic production. The first choice for opera beginners and a favourite with advanced opera lovers.

  • Credits
    Conductor
    Patrick Fournillier
    Director
    Mariusz Treliński
    Set Designer
    Boris Kudlička
    Costume Designer
    Paweł Grabarczyk
    Costume Designer
    Magdalena Tesławska
    Choreography
    Emil Wesołowski
    Lighting Designer
    Stanisław Zięba