With a new production of “Madama Butterfly» by Giacomo Puccini, the National Opera opens (June 1, 4, 7 and 10, 2023) the events of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival at the Herodeum. The direction is signed by the leading French director of opera and theater Olivier Pi, in his first encounter with Puccini’s masterpiece. Directed by Vassilis Christopoulos.

“Madama Butterfly” is one of the most popular operas in the repertoire. Giacomo Puccini’s “Japanese tragedy” is famous for its beautiful arias, expressively melodic music and dramatic theatrics.

The premise of the opera concerns the fateful love of the fifteen-year-old geisha Cho-Cho-Shan for Pinkertona lieutenant in the United States Navy.

After a three-year absence, the officer returns with his American wife to Japan, where he learns that he has fathered a son with Butterfly.

She agrees to hand over the child only to Pinkerton himself and then kills herself.

After the great success of “Vocek” in 2020 at the Stavros Niarchos Hall, Olivier Py returns to Greece to direct, this time on the stage of the Herodion, Puccini’s masterpiece. Py, who recently took over as artistic director of Paris’ Théâtre Châtelet after a successful nine-year stint as artistic director of the Avignon Festival, has directed over forty operas around the world.

For his first confrontation with “Madama Butterfly”, but also with Puccini in general, he brings the Orchestra to the stage of the Herodeus and puts forward the political dimension of the work through his own recognizable directorial identity.

“We hope that the power of Puccini’s political message will be seen in the staging and that this absurd work will no longer be seen as a sad sentimental story against a sweet-salty backdrop, but a powerful political discourse and the premonition of the death of a world,” notes director. The impressive stage installation and costumes are signed by Olivier Pou’s constant collaborator, Pierre-Andre Weitz.

The title role is performed by rising South Korean tenor Anna Son and the role of Pinkerton by distinguished Italian tenor Andrea Carre. Suzuki is performed by the distinguished mezzo-soprano Alisa Kolosova, and Sharpless by the excellent baritone of the Greek Greek National Opera Dionysis Sourbis. With them are the members of the ELS Diamantis Kritsotakis, Yiannis Kalyvas, Haris Andrianos, Petros Magoulas, Petros Salatas, Christos Lazos, Vasiliki Petrogianni, Vagia Kofou and Vicky Athanasiou. With the participation of the Orchestra and Choir of the National Opera.

The production is implemented with the support of the donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to strengthen the artistic extroversion of the National Opera.