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The Pescadero Opera Society presentsMadama ButterflyMusic by Giacomo PucciniLibretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi IllicaBased on the play Madama Butterflyby David BelascoOpera in Two ActsSung in ItalianLocation: Nagasaki, JapanTime: early 20th centuryCharactersCio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly) (soprano) . Patricia RacetteBenjamin Franklin Pinkerton, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy (tenor) . Marcello GiordaniSuzuki, Cio-Cio-San’s servant (mezzo-soprano) .Maria ZifchakSharpless, U.S. Consul in Nagasaki (baritone) . Dwayne CroftGoro, a marriage broker (tenor) . Greg FedderlyThe Bonze, Cio-Cio-San’s uncle and a Buddhist priest (bass) . Dean PetersonPrince Yamadori, a wealthy Japanese suitor (baritone) . Christopheren NomuraThe Imperial Commissioner (bass) . Keith MillerKate Pinkerton, Pinkerton’s American wife (mezzo-soprano) . Edyta KulczakDolore (Sorrow), Cio-Cio-San’s child . Blind Summer Theatre (puppetry)Conducted by Patrick SummersThe Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus and BalletFirst performance at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy, on February 14, 1904 Phyllis Neumann Pescadero Opera Society http://www.pescaderoopera.com

2SynopsisAct IOn a flowering terrace overlooking Nagasaki Harbor, Goro, themarriage broker, is giving U.S. Navy Lieutenant Pinkerton a tour of the homethat he is to lease with his new bride, Cio-Cio-San. The lease, as is the custom,is for 999 years — with a convenient monthly cancellation clause thatPinkerton may use at his discretion. Goro then introduces Pinkerton to histhree servants, among them Cio-Cio-San’s long-time personal maid, Suzuki.The wedding will take place that day.Sharpless, the U.S. Consul, arrives breathlessly from climbing the hill.He cautions Pinkerton about this arrangement, saying that the naïve Cio-CioSan may take her marriage vows very seriously, but Pinkerton cannot bemade to take anything seriously. Although he is enchanted with the fragileCio-Cio-San and looks forward to their marriage, he proposes a toast to theday when he will be married — to a “real” American wife.Cio-Cio-San is heard in the distance, joyously singing that she is thehappiest of women, for love is greeting her at the top of the hill. Accompaniedby her relatives, she modestly tells Pinkerton about herself, revealing her age — which is only fifteen. Shealso tells him that when her family fell on hard times, she had to earn her living as a geisha. Cio-Cio-Santhen shows Pinkerton her few earthly treasures that she carries in her large Japanese sleeve, including adagger that her father had used to commit suicide on the order of the Mikado. To Pinkerton’s surprise, shealso reveals her intent to embrace his Christian faith and become a true American wife.The Imperial Commissioner performs the briefguests toast the happy couple. The celebration isCio-Cio-San’s uncle, The Bonze, a Buddhist priest, whorenouncing her religion and betraying her family.on the young bride, renouncing her as well. Pinkertonleave his house.wedding ceremony, and thesuddenly interrupted bycurses Cio-Cio-San forShocked, the relatives turnangrily orders the guests toAlone together in the moonlit garden, Pinkertonand dries her tears. They express their love for eachCio-San’s white bridal robe. Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-Sanand, lovingly, enter their new home.comfortsCio-Cio-San’sother. Suzuki prepares Ciosing a rapturous love duetAct IIThree years have passed since Pinkerton left, but Cio-Cio-San has not heard from him. Suzuki, whohas been praying to her Japanese gods, tries to tell Cio-Cio-San that he will never come again and showsher how little money is left. Cio-Cio-San urges her to have faith —she sings her famous aria, Un bel dì(One Fine Day), sure that one day Pinkerton’s ship will sail into the harbor, and he will once again climbthe hill to meet his beloved wife.Sharpless, the U.S. Consul, brings a letter from Pinkerton. Cio-Cio-San greets him warmly and showshim her American home. Before Sharpless can read the letter to Cio-Cio-San, Goro enters with a wealthysuitor, the Prince Yamadori. Cio-Cio-San dismisses both the marriage broker and the Prince, insisting thatshe is still married to Pinkerton. When they are again alone, Sharpless begins to read the letter, suggestingto Cio-Cio-San that Pinkerton may not return to her. Upset, Cio-Cio-San leaves the room and returns,carrying her child, the result of her marriage to Pinkerton. She tells Sharpless that his name is Dolore, Phyllis Neumann Pescadero Opera Society http://www.pescaderoopera.com

3meaning Sorrow but, upon his father’s return, his name will be changed to Joy. Shesays that, once Pinkerton knows he has a son, he will surely return to her. However,if he does not, she would rather die than return to her former life as a geisha. Movedby her futile devotion, Sharpless leaves without having revealed the full contents ofthe letter.A cannon is heard — Pinkerton’s ship, the Abraham Lincoln, has sailed into theharbor! Delirious with joy, Cio-Cio-San orders Suzuki to help her fill the house withflowers. They sing their lovely Flower Duet while sprinkling flower petals all aroundthe house. They then cut three holes into the paper screen to await Pinkerton’sarrival. As night falls, Cio-Cio-San, Suzuki and the child begin their long vigil. TheHumming Chorus is heard off-stage. The child gradually falls asleep, Suzuki rests,but Butterfly stares steadfastly out at the harbor below.Act IIIAs the curtain opens sailors are heard calling to one another in the harbor. Day is dawning, but CioCio-San has not moved. Suzuki convinces Cio-Cio-San to take the child and get some rest, assuring herthat she would wake her as soon as Pinkerton arrives. Cio-Cio-San takes the sleeping child into anotherroom, singing him a lullaby.No sooner have Butterfly and the child retired than there is a knock at the door. It is Sharpless,accompanied by Pinkerton and his American wife, Kate. Almost at once Suzuki realizes who this womanis and bursts into sobs of despair. She cannot bear to tell Cio-Cio-San, but finally agrees to help in breakingthe news to her. Pinkerton, seized with remorse, bids an anguished farewell to his former home and thehappiness he has known there. Then he rushes off.Cio-Cio-San awakens from the other room and calls out to Suzuki.She is sure that Pinkerton has returned! She suddenly notices Kate standingin the garden and asks who she is and what she wants — she suddenlyunderstands everything. She is asked to surrender her child to Kate so thathe can be raised as an American child. The shattered Cio-Cio-San agreesto give up her child only if Pinkerton himself returns in a half-hour to pickhim up.Left alone with the child, Cio-Cio-San knows that there is only onething left to do. She sends Suzuki away. In a poignant aria she bids farewellto her son, begging him to always to remember her. She hands him a dolland an American flag and gently blindfolds him. Then she goes behind ascreen and takes out the dagger with which her father had committedsuicide, choosing to die with honor rather than live in disgrace. As thedying Cio-Cio-San drags herself toward the blindfolded boy, Pinkertoncomes rushing in crying, “Butterfly! Butterfly!” He falls on his kneesbeside her now lifeless body — and the curtain falls. Phyllis Neumann Pescadero Opera Society http://www.pescaderoopera.com

4Giacomo PucciniBorn: Lucca, December 22, 1858; Died: Brussels, November 29, 1924As a young boy Giacomo Puccini studied music with his uncle,Fortunato Magi, and the director of the Istituto Musicale Pacini, CarloAngeloni. He began his musical career at the age of 14 as an organist at St.Martino and other local churches. Seeing a performance of Verdi’s Aïda atPisa, Italy in 1876, made such an impact on him that he decided to followhis instinct for writing opera. With a scholarship and financial support froman uncle, Puccini was able to enter the Milan Conservatory in 1880.In 1882, while still a student, Puccini entered a competition for a oneact opera which was announced by the publishing firm of Sonzogno. He andhis librettist, Ferdinando Fontana, failed to win, but their opera Le Villi cameto the attention of publisher, Giulio Ricordi, who arranged a successfulproduction at the Teatro del Verme in Milan, Italy. A second opera wascommissioned; however, Fontana’s libretto, Edgar, was unsuited toPuccini’s dramatic talent, and the opera was coolly received at La Scala in April 1889. This, however, beganPuccini’s lifelong association with the house of Ricordi.The first opera, for which Puccini himself chose the subject, was Manon Lescaut. Produced at Turinin 1893, it achieved a success such as Puccini was never to repeat, and made him known outside of Italy.Among the writers who worked on its libretto were Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, who provided thelibrettos for Puccini’s next three operas. The first of these, La Bohème, widely considered Puccini’smasterpiece, but with its mixture of lighthearted and sentimental scenes and its largely conversational style,was not a success when produced at Turin in 1896. Tosca, Puccini’s first excursion into verismo (realism)was more enthusiastically received by the Roman audience at the Teatro Costanzi in 1900.Later that year Puccini visited London and saw David Belasco’s one-act play, Madama Butterfly. Hetook this as the basis for his next collaboration with Illica and Giacosa. Puccini considered it the best andmost technically advanced opera he had written. He was unprepared, however, for the fiasco of its firstperformance in February 1904, when the La Scala audience was urged into hostility, even pandemonium,by the composer’s jealous rivals. A revised version was given great acclaim at Brescia the following May.Puccini married Elvira Gemignani, the widow of a Lucca merchant, who had borne him a son as longago as 1896. The family lived until 1921 in the house at Torre del Lago, which Puccini had acquired in1891. In 1909 Elvira had accused their servant girl of having an intimate relationship with her husband.The girl committed suicide, and a court case established the girl’s innocence. But the publicity affectedPuccini deeply and it was the main reason for the long period before his next opera, La Fanciulla del West(Girl of the Golden West), an American western based on another Belasco drama. The opera had itspremiere at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in December 1910. In all technical respects, notably itsDebussian harmony and Straussian orchestration, it was a masterly reply to the criticism that Puccinirepeated himself in every new opera. What it lacked was the incandescent phrase, and this was probablywhy it had not entered the normal repertory outside Italy.Differences with Tito Ricordi, head of the firm since 1912, led Puccini to accept a commission for anoperetta from the directors of the Vienna Karltheater. The result, La Rondine, though warmly received atMonte Carlo in 1917, is among Puccini’s weakest works, hovering between opera and operetta and devoidof striking lyrical melody. While working on it Puccini began the composition of Il Tabarro, the first ofthree one-act operas, Il Trittico, which follow the scheme of the Parisian Grand Guignol — a horrificepisode, a sentimental tragedy, Suor Angelica, and a comedy or farce, Gianni Schicchi. This last opera ofthe triptych proved to be the most enduring and is often done without the others, usually in a double bill. Phyllis Neumann Pescadero Opera Society http://www.pescaderoopera.com

5In his early 60s Puccini was determined to “strike out on new paths” and started work on Turandot,based on a Gozzi play, which satisfied his desire for a subject with a fantastic, fairy-tale atmosphere, butflesh-and-blood characters. While writing the opera he moved to Viareggio and, in 1923, developed cancerof the throat. Treatment at a Brussels clinic seemed successful, but his heart could not stand the strain andhe died, leaving Turandot unfinished. It was completed by his good friend, Franco Alfano, and is usuallyheard that way today. All of Italy went into mourning and, two years later, his remains were interred at hishouse at Torre del Lago which, after his wife’s death in 1930, was turned into a museum.Puccini’s choral, orchestral and instrumental works, dating mainly from his early years, areunimportant, though the Mass in A-flat (1880) is still performed occasionally. His operas may not engageus on as many different levels as do those of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner or Strauss, but on his own mostcharacteristic level, where erotic passion, sensuality, tenderness, pathos and despair meet and fuse, he wasan unrivalled master. His melodic gift and harmonic sensibility, his consummate skill in orchestration andunerring sense of theatre combined to create a style that was wholly original, homogeneous and compelling.He was fully aware of his limitations and rarely ventured beyond them. He represents Verdi’s only truesuccessor, and his greatest masterpiece and swansong, Turandot, belongs among the last 20th-century stageworks to remain in the regular repertory of the world’s opera houses.Madama ButterflyMadame Butterfly originated as a short story by American lawyer and writer,John Luther Long. It is based on the recollections of Long’s sister, Jennie Correll,who had been to Japan with her husband, a Methodist missionary, and was mainlyinfluenced by Pierre Loti’s 1887 novel, Madame Chrysanthème, published inCentury Magazine in 1898, along with some of Long’s other s