Madama Butterfly - Opéra national de Paris (2014) - Madama Butterfly - Opéra national de Paris (2014)

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Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and most comprehensive portraits of a woman in the history of opera—but also one of the most terrible, since it is a tale of humiliation and deceit which ultimately leads to death. From its advent in the 1890s, “verismo” had relied on excessive, melodramatic librettos and effective, uncompromising theatricality. It had also relied on a power of expression that transformed the slightest word into imprecation. This was true for a work like Cavalleria rusticana or Tosca, Puccini’s preceding work. In “Butterfly” though, there is nothing of the sort: there is little or no action, just the slow poetry of the soul. Certainly, there are words but they are pared down to perfection to become almost incidental. Compared to the devouring passion expressed in each intonation of Santuzza or Manon Lescaut, Butterfly contrasts silence and heartrending song with an unearthly modesty. Svetla Vassileva, who gained fame in Paris in Francesca da Rimini, plays the distraught young woman in this sensitive and flawless production by Bob Wilson.

Madama Butterfly

More information is available on the operahouse's official website.


February 14, 2014 19:30:00

February 17, 2014 19:30:00

February 21, 2014 19:30:00

February 24, 2014 19:30:00

February 27, 2014 19:30:00

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March 12, 2014 19:30:00


Robert Wilson

Daniele Callegari

Svetla Vassileva

Teodor Ilincai

Cornelia Oncioiu

Gabriele Viviani

Carlo Bosi

Scott Wilde

Marianne Crebassa

Florian Sempey

Work's characters list



Cio-Cio San (Madame Butterfly)





Le Bonze

Kate Pinkerton