opera 22. 1. 2016

Madama Butterfly returns to the State Opera in Prague

One of the most impressive works of the world opera returns to the State Opera in Prague after more than one year lasting break. Puccini's Madama Butterfly is staged by the State Opera music director Martin Leginus and directed by Jiří Heřman and premieres on 4 and 9 February 2016. The title role of Cio-Cio-San will be performed by Maria Kobielska or Christina Vasileva, the role of Pinkerton will be sung by Peter Berger or Luciano Mastro.


"The State Opera Orchestra belongs to the most experienced in the interpretation of Puccini's work in the Czech Republic. It has an excellent sense of the sensitive accompaniment of soloists,” says conductor Martin Leginus. “I appreciate that despite enormous orchestra's players experience with this Puccini's work, they were very open to the new interpretative approach. We had enough space to focus on the details - the colorful and dynamic balance of the sound of the orchestra. A key quality for the Puccini's works is various agogics which makes the interpretation becomes plastic,” says conductor Martin Leginus.

Jiří Heřman, whose productions of Rusalka and Jakobín are still presented in the National Theatre, makes his debut on the stage of the State Opera. “Each time I direct an opera, I try to approach its text and music as if I heard and read it for the first time. That is the most difficult thing if such a piece belongs to the most played in the world: not to be inspired by what has already been made but to be able to look at it as the unprocessed work,” says director Jiří Heřman and he continues: “With this approach I started to be attracted to Puccini's work once again. It continues to surprise me I enjoy to reveal the composer's sense of capturing moments in our lives that can tell a little more about us. And that's fascinating.”

Jiří Heřman considers the right choice of soloists to be the most decisive moment of this production: “When I used to work as an assistant director at the State Opera, I saw a single performance of Madame Butterfly sung by Christina Vasileva as a cover. Her rendition of the role was perfect, both musically and theatrically. Since then, I've longed for staging this opera.  But nothing happens by accident in our lives. Everything has its purpose and reason. When I was offered to stage a new Madama Butterfly at the State Opera, it was a quick decision - when I saw the names such as Christina Vasileva or Maria Kobielska, whom I met in Rusalka, The Fall of Arkun and The Jacobin. I think we have found a common creative inspiration,” says director Jiří Heřman.

The following operatic premiere of the National Theatre is Juliette (The Key to Dreams) by Bohuslav Martinů:  musical preparation by Jaroslav Kyzlink and stage direction by Zuzana Gilhuus. The premieres will take place at the National Theatre in Prague on 24 and 25 March 2016.

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