Like last year with Turandot, he Peralada Festival He has chosen another title Pucciniano, Madama Butterfly, with a big win for his starring Albanian soprano Jaho Ermonela, in the interesting scenic proposal Joan Antonio Rechi, located in Nagasaki devastated by the explosion of the atomic bomb. Scheduled for day 7 Y 9 of August. The second performance had to be suspended at the end of Act I, due to intense and persistent rain.
In the early twentieth century, Giacomo Puccini (Lucca, 1858-Brussels, 1924) It was as a composer of great international prestige. his operas Manon Lescaut (1893), Bohemian (1896) Y Tosca (1900) They had achieved great successes. But nevertheless, the premiere of his next opera Madama Butterfly, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, he 17 February 1904, It was a complete failure, despite the presence of magnificent singers: Rosina Storchio como Butterfly, next to Pinkerton Zenatello Giovanni and Giuseppe De Luca Scharpless. Possibly, the great fiasco was due shortly trials (the composition was not completed until late December 1903), and the excessive length of Act II, which lasted about ninety minutes. Puccini undertook a review of the work by eliminating some passages of Act I, Act II dividing into two separate parts by a large orchestral interlude, including a new Pinkerton aria "Addio Fiorito asil" and shortening the end of the opera. The new version was released with great success in the Great Theater of Brescia on 28 May 1904.
A third version translated into French, It was premiered in Paris, he 28 December 1906, further cuts which mainly affected the end of the opera, conducted by Albert Carré, director of the Opera Comique, with the consent of Puccini. For the premiere at the Metropolitan New York, he 11 February 1907, Puccini again used the version of Brescia, with slight variations and with an impressive cast including the Butterfly Geraldine Farrar, Enrico Caruso as Pinkerton and Scharpless Antonio Scotti. Giulio Ricordi made an edit, in 1907, based on the Parisian version, which can be regarded as the definitive, with about twenty minutes less music with respect to the first version SCALIGERA. Geraldine Farrar became a benchmark Butterfly, being it played in every season of the Metropolitan between 1907 Y 1922, sharing deals, first with Caruso and later with other great tenors as Giovanni Zenatello (the first Pinkerton), John McCormack, Hipolito Lazaro, Giovanni Martinelli y Beniamino Gigli. Other famous Butterfly of the time were Elisabeth Rethberg, Claudia Muzio and Lucrezia Bori.
The fifties and sixties of last century were a golden era for opera, by the presence of large Butterfly as Eleanor Steber, Renata Tebaldi, Victoria de los Angeles, Clara Petrella, Maria Callas, Renata Scotto, Leontine Price, Antonietta Stella, Monserrat Caballe and Pilar Lorengar. Victoria de los Angeles Butterfly played many times in theater, since the debuted at the Metropolitan New York, in 1951, legacy having two excellent recordings for EMI: in 1954 Giuseppe Di Stefano y en 1959 junto a Jussi Björling, in both cases with the Orchestra of the Rome Opera, respectively led by Gianandrea Gavazzeni and Gabrielle Santini.
Renata Tebaldi was also a magnificent Butterfly, who played for the first time in theater, Liceu in Barcelona, in 1958, performing the same year a recording for Decca, next to Pinkerton of Carlo Bergonzi, directed by Tullio Serafin Orchestra in front of the Academy of Santa Cecilia. Renata Tebaldi sang Butterfly especially in Metropolitan neoyorkino, keeping it in his repertoire to 1961. Maria Callas was an occasional Butterfly bringing his vocalism and extraordinary dramatic talent, debuting the role in a recording for EMI, in 1955, with Nicolai Gedda and the great orchestral direction of Herbert von Karajan in front of the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, and that same year performing at the Opera of Chicago its unique three performances in the theater next to Di Stefano Pinkerton Giuseppe.
In the sixties, He bursts with great force Butterfly Renata Scotto, bringing together voice beauty with great performing arts, and first he performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, in 1964, keeping it in their repertoire for over twenty years with some final performances at the Metropolitan, in 1987. His recording for EMI 1966, It is truly referential, with excellent Pinkerton of Carlo Bergonzi (much better than recording with Tebaldi), alongside the magnificent Sharpless of Rolando Panerai, and the extraordinary Sir John Barbirolli address in front of the Opera Orchestra of Rome. In 1974, and a recording for Decca, Herbert von Karajan reprized this score, the head of the Vienna Philharmonic, in a sumptuous version of the big Butterfly Mirella Freni (He not the never sang on stage), by the dazzling Pinkerton Luciano Pavarotti and the Suzuki Grand Christa Ludwig.
Last December was seen at the opening of the season at the Teatro alla Scala, the first version of Butterfly, orchestral Riccardo Chailly, and whose availability on the Internet allows you to set the differences with the smaller version usually often heard. The cast intervened Uruguayan soprano María José Siri as Butterfly, with two of the performers we have heard in Peralada: Pinkerton's American tenor Bryan Hymel and our Carlos Alvarez as Scharpless.
The Madama Butterfly Represented in Peralada is a co-production of this festival and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, which it was released a few months ago in the German city of Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia), with the stage direction of the Andorran Joan Anton rechi. The scenery Alfons Flores places the action at the US consulate in Nagasaki, in a sumptuous lounge with high classical columns whose bottom wall can be a large US flag. A turntable allows the movement, at times, scenic elements like the elegant office of consul Scharpless, or the many characters appearing on stage during the wedding ceremony between Butterfly and Pinkerton, and even, the appearance of the marriage bed where both interpret the precious final duet of Act I. then, You can hear the engine noise of an airplane and a thunderous sound that reproduces the burst of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, being able to see the destruction of the consulate whose columns are plummeting based gorgeous visuals prepared by the lighting designer Alberto Rodriguez.
As well, It can be seen as an observatory, a crude platform that will play an important role throughout the end of the opera. Definitely, This scenery may be interesting from a dramatic point of view to highlight the physical and moral tragedy that has engulfed Batterfly, from the start-abandonment of Pinkerton, after the wedding. It should be noted glaring inconsistencies between text sung and performance space, when Butterfly Suzuki sends flowers to look at this barren place, or when Pinkerton says that after three years the landscape has not been changed. They are well resolved scenic movements of the many characters in the course of Act I, producing moments of great beauty when the figure of Butterfly appears completely surrounded by white umbrellas.
Highlight costume design by Merce Paloma, where the Western and Eastern world is mixed: elegant and appropriate costumes Pinkerton and Scharpless or traditional kimono bearing Butterfly, compared with Western clothing from relatives and friends, in the case of male extras combined with those typical bows that look in their hair. Good stage direction of Joan Anton rechi, who manages to extract the maximum of theatricality to the actions of each of the characters, especially the protagonist.
Madama Butterfly Wagner has clear influences, with the inclusion of number of repeat units within a brilliant orchestral fabric in which the voices are inserted as an instrument. It also contains many passages of an evanescent and colorful impressionist music. So, This is an opera that requires a good orchestra, whose director knows capture the many details of this rich score. In this case, the provision of the Symphony Orchestra of Bilbao was not discreet, with an address by the Israeli grandmaster Dan Ettinger unsophisticated, prone to excessive sound volume without getting to highlight the many moments when the score acquires a dimension of intense lyricism, the entry into scene Butterfly or conclusive great duo of Act I. Woods acceptable sound, metals and percussion, with an irregular supply of rope. It was incomprehensible sound interruption, when it was running a prelude to Act III, so it was divided into two parts.
Jaho Ermonela Butterfly has made its most paradigmatic role since I interpreted for the first time in Philadelphia, in 2009. He could already hear his magnificent performance at the Liceu, in 2013, and very recently, the months of June and July at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Without having vocal forcefulness, the character required in Act II, and especially around the end of the opera, It offers a nuanced performance, making the most expressive match each word and each phrase sung. During Act I, tímbrica clearly showed that it requires the naive and fragile Butterfly, of only fifteen, performing a rendition of "Ancora un passo" in a crescendo concluded with the phrase "they are venuta to richiamo d'amor, d'Love "topped with a stunning Re5.
Interpretative offers a lesson in the beautiful duet with Pinkerton at the end of Act I. Ya, in Act II, He made an extraordinary and nuanced interpretation of the famous aria "Un bel di vedremo", emitting beautiful filados; Y, He showed great ability to talk singing in duet with his long Sharpless, providing a tremendous dramatic content to phrases like "Due cose far potrei: back to the fun gente co oppur sing ..., better, die ", Scharpless when he raises the possibility that Pinkerton will not return. His interpretation throughout the end of the opera, It was impressive, with esa demoledora recitada phrase "he dies with honor who can not serbar life with honor" para continuar con el aria "Tu, you, Small god ", to which it equipped with pathetic accents, again showing its magnificent high register. Located throughout the final scene on the above platform; suicide when he fell down the dagger, having sufficient resources to resolve the situation. Ermonela Jaho was involved in such a way his character, he even greeted the audience sobbed.
American tenor Bryan Hymel, He showed a voice of great power and attractive timbral in acute strip, losing brilliance in the central and low registers. His stage presence shows the most arrogant and vile seducer facet of Pinkerton. All this is reflected in its initial duet with Sharpless, and when he sings the aria of self-assured manner "Amore or cricket, I could not say ". But nevertheless, their performance declines in the great final duet of Act I, with little singing nuances compared to the exquisite interpretation of Ermonela Jaho. Ya, the end of the duo, both together voices emitting a C4, well projected forward by the soprano and the tenor was left behind. His best intervention occurred in the aria "Addio Fiorito axil".
Sharpless of the Magnificent Carlos Alvarez, elegant and full of nobility, He is showing his beautiful vocalism and great stage performance, going qualifying, Firstly, in its initial duet with Pinkerton who accompanies his evil game. Ya, in Act II, in that great duet with Butterfly, where he shows his mastery of singing and conversation with an incisive phrasing contrasted. Speaking brilliant results in the lovely trio "Io so che alle sue pene" with Suzuki and Pinkerton, where the voice of baritone malagueño imposed on the other two. In the duet that follows with Pinkerton "Non ve detto l'avevo?"Again offers its excellent line of song ending his speech with a solemn and nuanced phrase" Andate, the sad truth alone will learn " . In sum, great interpretation of Carlos Alvarez.
The middle Gemma Coma-Alabert He outlined a Suzuki of great lyricism and expressive power, that he realizes from the beginning of the bad conscience of Pinkerton. Well in Act II, in their specific interventions well together with Ermonela Jaho, and it has its culmination in the moving Flower Duet. Viçens Esteve made a good interpretation of the person concerned and histrionic Matchmaker Goro. Excellent young baritone Carles Pachón in his brief speech as Prince Yamadori.
The performance of the Coro del Liceu, It was improving in the course of representation, resulting discrete input in the scenic Butterfly, improving the precious "O Kami! O Kami!, and getting their best performance in the famous "Coro mouth shut", that closes Act II.
Text: Diego Manuel García Pérez
pictures: all Ferrer