for: Soloists, mixed choir, orchestra
|Text||Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica|
|Scope||483 pages; 20 × 27 cm|
|Producer No.||PR 1353|
Madama Butterfly took wing under turbulent circumstances. The premiere (Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 17 February 1904) was a disaster, while a second production only months later (Brescia, Teatro Grande, 28 May 1904) was instead a resounding success. In the intervening period the composer had made considerable changes to the score, enough that the result qualifies as a “second version”. Still other changes were to come, however, as the opera toured in successive productions. The definitive version, which is reflected in this edition, was produced in 1906 at the Opéra Comique in Paris and published by Ricordi the following year.
Puccini thus invested considerable effort into the creation of his favorite opera – and into shaping the fate of the heroine, herself a manifestation of the extremes of patient waiting and steadfast love. The music is a complete and masterful expression of the pity and disillusionment that surround the figure of Cio-Cio-San: her absolute but misguided hope, her pathetic pretence in the name of love, her miserable demise.