La Scala counts a 14-minute ovation for restored Butterfly. Maria José Siri performance was praised by public and critic.
The annual opera opening at the legendary La Scala has been pronounced a triumph. Riccardo Chailly version of Puccini’s original Madam Butterfly, was acclaimed both inside then opera house and outside by watchers on a giant television screen. This year, after 40 years, La Scala’s opening night was transmitted on the main television channel, instead of the niche Rai5 arts and documentary channel. One Italian in five followed at least part of the broadcast, with an average audience of more than two-and-a-half million. The most viewed opera on Italian television ever.
The Uruguayan soprano Maria José Siri stole the show as Cio-Cio- san (Madam Butterfly). Annalisa Stroppa was Suzuki, Bryan Hymel sang Pinkerton, Carlos Alvarez appeared as Sharpless. The stage director was the controversial Latvian, Alvis Hermanis.
Giacomo Puccini’s opera has finally had the triumph at La Scala that Puccini was hoping for in 1904 when the opera received its world premiere in this same scenario. Instead, 112 years ago, it was greeted with whistles and boos. Puccini was so disillusioned that he would never again collaborate with La Scala.
It was the first time that Siri -who lives in Italy since 2006- played the role of Cio-Cio San, considered one of the most fascinating and complex roles in the genre.
Siri said to Uruguayan newspaper El Observador: “That excites me the most of this creative process is trying to put me under the skin of this 15 years old Japanese, with a tragic and profound love story. I rediscovered emotions that I kept inside me, painful memories of that first love, which all of us lived. This is my first time in this role and to do this process I refuse to hear any of the great performers that did the role trough history. I didn’t want to be influenced in my singing and acting”.
The critics said that Maria José Siri as Butterfly was so utterly convincing in her role that the audience wiped away the tears long before the last bars were played.
Sources: El Observador, el País, Gramilano.