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Love, passion and conflict are the eternal foundations of Puccini’s operas. Madama Butterfly, Tosca and La Bohème are Puccini’s three major operas, while the first one collects the best elements of his operas: the cultural differences between the East and the West, international love, hierarchical difference, and the contrast between old traditions and modern culture, making it a constant hit in opera houses.
Producer and director of the production, Moffatt Oxenbould, who is former artistic director of Opera Australia, spent three years on the work. A delicate Japanese stage featuring tatami (Japanese mat), a zen pond, Japanese sliding doors, cherry blossom petals and flower arrangement, is combined with a modern, minimalist style and the 19th century American flavor. Music director Shao-Chia Lü conducted the premiere of the work in Sydney Opera House in 1997, setting a record of multiple reenactments and earning a title of the best interpreter of Puccini’s operas.
The surtitles are intended to enhance the audience’s appreciation of the opera performed on stage and are an abridged translation of the original Italian text.
The English translation slides are provided by Opera Australia and copyright of Brian Fitzgerald.