Matinee broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera continue on Classical 90.5 at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, February 1st, with a performance of Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. Puccini based his opera in part on the short story Madame Butterfly (1898) by John Luther Long, which was dramatized by David Belasco. Puccini also based it on the novel Madame Chrysanthème (1887) by Pierre Loti. The performance will run approximately three hours and thirty-five minutes.
This beloved opera, which premiered in 1904, has at its heart a Japanese geisha, Cio-Cio-San, known as "Madama Butterfly." In a traditional Japanese ceremony arranged by marriage-broker Goro and in the presence of the American consul Sharpless, Cio-San marries a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy, B. F. Pinkerton. But he does not take the marriage seriously and soon returns to America, promising to return "when the robins are nesting." Three years pass, with Cio-Cio-San – along with her maid Suzuki and her little son – waiting for Pinkerton to come back. When he finally does, accompanied by his American wife, Kate, his wish to take his son to America leads to catastrophe for Cio-Cio-San.