Music by Giacomo Puccini
Japanese tragedy in three acts
Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa and 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
In the original Italian with Polish surtitles
December 6, 2015
A great love story against the background of which a clash of cultures and attitudes makes itself manifest. A young American ladies’ man, Pinkerton, marries an adolescent Japanese geisha. Butterfly, fragile and delicate as indeed, a butterfly, gives herself over to him completely and trustfully.
The staging that can be seen in Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera is entirely stripped down from layers of tackiness and saccharine sentimentality, from the make-up of folkloristic Japonism. It shows us the calligraphic purity of a Japanese drawing, under the surface of which great emotions are throbbing and exploding — love first and foremost, a force moving the Sun and flowers.
This masterly staging brings back to Giacomo Puccini’s opera the beauty and sharpness of a Buddhist parable about fidelity. The show constitutes the first and instantly brilliant flash of Mariusz Treliński and Boris Kudlička director/designer duo’s talent. It was created in collaboration with the choreographer Emil Wesołowski, and following its Polish premiere in 1999 has been staged almost every year in various theatres in Italy, Spain, Russia, United States and Israel.