Also available on Blu-ray
Over a century after Madama Butterfly’s premiere in 1904, Riccardo Chailly restores Puccini’s original two-act version of the beloved opera to the La Scala stage. This is the first ever video release of the 1904 two-act version of Madama Butterfly, featuring a new production inspired by Japanese Kabuki theatre by Alvis Hermanis and an allstart cast, including Bryan Hymel (Pinkerton) and Maria José Siri (Cio-Cio San).
The premiere of Madama Butterfly at La Scala, Milan, in 1904 was famously one of operatic history’s great flops. It’s hard to imagine, though, that the orchestral playing or conductingthat night came close to what Chailly achieves here with his Milan band, beautifully paced and tender, with the sheer invention and quality of the music shining reliably through. It’s carefully controlled, too, so that we never risk toppling over into excess. He’s assembled a fine cast, too.