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Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is a milestone work for the Greek National Opera, as it is the first opera ever staged by it as a newly-founded organization, on 25 October 1940, three days prior to the declaration of the Greco-Italian war.

That historic premiere, held on the National Theatre’s main stage, was attended by the composer’s son, Antonio Puccini, and the Italian Ambassador in Athens Emanuele Grazzi, who, a few hours later, would deliver to the Greek government the Italian ultimatum threatening war.

This year, which marks the 80th anniversary of the Greek National Opera, Butterfly returns to the GNO’s new home, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, not only to celebrate the anniversary, but also to signal the GNO’s return to action after the pandemic, and to show that art and culture not only survive in the most adverse conditions, but also constitute the driving force for man and society.

Greek National Opera’s Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis notes: “We chose this great work, because this October marks the 80th anniversary of Butterfly’s historic premiere at the GNO on 25 October 1940, three days prior to the start of the Greco-Italian war. The symbolism is obvious: the GNO has always been present and courageous in very difficult times and has managed to stand upright even in absolutely challenging circumstances, both back then and today.”

Famous for its wonderful arias, strikingly melodic music and dramatic theatricality, Madama Butterfly offers timeless emotion and triggers intense feelings. Puccini does not hesitate to describe it as his favorite opera, and through his later modifications he makes his heroine’s alabaster figure a symbol of inexhaustible patience and eternal, constant love.
The opera tells the story of the fatal love affair of fifteen-year-old geisha Cio-Cio-San with Pinkerton, a lieutenant in the United States Navy. After three years of absence the lieutenant returns to Japan with his American wife, when he hears that he has a son by Butterfly. She agrees to give the child away only to Pinkerton himself and then she commits suicide.

For more information, please visit the official website of the National Greek Opera.

Madama Butterfly

14/10/2020 - 15/11/2020

Hours - Comments
Dates: 14,16,18,20,23,25,30/10/2020, 01,08,15/11/2020 Location: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Greek National Opera - Stavros Niarchos Hall Starts at: 20.00 (Sundays: 18.30)

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