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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Elliott Carter
Paul Griffiths
Daniel Barenboim (Conductor)
Nicholas Brieger (Director)
Simone Nold (Rose)
Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Harry/Larry)
Hilary Summers (Stella)
William Joyner (Zen)
Lynne Dawson (Mama)
Ian Antal (Boy)
September 16, 1999
Staatsoper Unter den Linden
The opera opens with a car crash involving Mama, her son (the bridegroom), Rose (his bride-to-be), Zen (Mama's former husband), Stella (Zen's girlfriend), and a twelve year-old boy. As the characters regain their speech and come back to life, they struggle to remember who they are, how they are related, and where they had been going. Although they are stranded in a desolate area with little hope of rescue, the adults are too self-absorbed to come together and find a way out of the crisis. They accuse, complain, and even reminisce, but never listen to each other. It takes the child asking the one question that might rescue them all.
Rose(lys s)
Mama(dram s)
Harry or Larry(bar)
Kid(boy alto)
The New York Times, Patrick J. Smith, 9-20-99; Opera News, Robert Hilferty, 6-00; transcript from public radio program Fresh Air, 3-22-00 (contact publisher for further information); The Washington Post, Philip Kennicott, 9-17-99; The Times, John Allison, 9-25-98
2 fl(picc), 2 ob(Eng Hrn), 2 cl(bcl), 2 bsn(dbn) - 2 hrn, 1 tpt, 1 tbn, 1 tba - 4 perc - hp, pf, str(min 4 vln1, 4 vln2, 2 vla, 2 vc, 2 db)
Comic and whimsical in tone; ranges from edgy and chattering to lyrical; parts reminiscent of Verdi's Falstaff; non-traditional harmony and complex rhythm patterns; contains an orchestral intermezzo
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The building is on the same block as the train stop.

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