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Madama Butterfly《蝴蝶夫人》

The Met: Live in HD @ Asia Society Hong Kong Center

Evening Screening with Intermission
5:30 pm — 9:00 pm

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
3 hours 14 minutes
Sung in Italian with English and Chinese subtitles

"There are few, if any, more heart-rending operas than Madama Butterfly, and there are few, if any, productions that more fully capture the emotional power of Puccini’s score than Anthony Minghella’s magical staging for the Metropolitan Opera." — Huffington Post

Anthony Minghella's elegant production of Puccini's poignant tragedy continues to enchant audiences ten years after its inception. With Kristine Opolais and Roberto Alagna, two of the world's greatest singing actors in this classic Puccini's tragedy, Madama Butterfly is a breath-taking experience that may move you to tears.


Act I
Japan, early 20th century. Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton of the U.S. Navy inspects a house overlooking Nagasaki harbor that he is leasing from Goro, a marriage broker, who has also arranged his union with a young geisha named Cio-Cio-San, known as Madame Butterfly. The American consul Sharpless arrives for the wedding ceremony and Pinkerton describes to him his philosophy of the fearless Yankee roaming the world in search of experience and pleasure. He is not sure whether his feelings for the young girl are love or a whim, but he intends to go through with the wedding. Sharpless warns him that the girl may view the marriage more seriously, but Pinkerton brushes off his concerns and declares that someday he will take a real, American wife. Butterfly is heard climbing the hill with her friends. In casual conversation after the formal introduction, Butterfly admits her age, 15, and explains that her family was once prominent but lost its position, and she has had to earn her living as a geisha. Her relatives arrive and chatter about the marriage. Cio-Cio-San shows Pinkerton her few possessions and quietly tells him she has been to the Christian mission to convert to her husband’s religion. The Imperial Commissioner reads the marriage agreement, and the relatives congratulate the couple. Suddenly, a threatening voice is heard from afar—it is the Bonze, Butterfly’s uncle, a priest. He curses the girl for rejecting her ancestral religion. Pinkerton orders everyone to leave, and as they go the Bonze and the shocked relatives denounce Cio-Cio-San. Pinkerton tries to console Butterfly with sweet words. She is helped by Suzuki into her wedding kimono, and joins Pinkerton in the garden, where they make love.


Act II Part 1
Three years have passed, and Cio-Cio-San awaits her husband’s return. Sharpless appears with a letter from Pinkerton, but before he can read it to Butterfly, Goro arrives with the latest potential husband for Butterfly, the wealthy Prince Yamadori. Butterfly politely serves the guests tea but insists she is not available for marriage—her American husband has not deserted her. She dismisses Goro and Yamadori. Sharpless attempts to read Pinkerton’s letter but is repeatedly interrupted by Butterfly in her excitement to hear from her husband. Finally giving up, he asks her what she would do if Pinkerton never returned. The shocked Butterfly replies she would either become a geisha again, or better die. Sharpless, resigned, suggests that perhaps she should reconsider Yamadori’s offer. Butterfly is outraged and runs out, returning with her small son. Sharpless, too upset to tell her more of the letter’s contents, leaves, promising to tell Pinkerton of the child. A cannon shot is heard in the harbor announcing the arrival of a ship. Butterfly and Suzuki take a telescope to the terrace and read the name of Pinkerton’s ship. Overjoyed, Butterfly joins Suzuki in strewing the house with flowers. As night falls, Butterfly, Suzuki, and the child settle into a vigil watching over the harbor.


Act II Part 2
Dawn breaks, and Suzuki insists that Butterfly get some sleep. Butterfly carries the child into another room. Sharpless appears with Pinkerton and Kate, Pinkerton’s new wife. Suzuki realizes who the American woman is and agrees to help break the news to Butterfly. Pinkerton is overcome with guilt as he remembers his days in the house and runs from the scene. Cio-Cio-San rushes in hoping to find Pinkerton, but sees Kate instead. After a moment, she grasps the situation. Now left without hope, she agrees to give up the child but insists Pinkerton return for him. She dismisses everyone and takes out the dagger with which her father committed suicide, choosing to die with honor rather than live in shame. She is interrupted momentarily when her son comes running in. After saying an emotional goodbye she blindfolds the child. Then she stabs herself as Pinkerton is heard from outside calling her name.




第二幕 第一部分
三年過去,蝴蝶夫人在等待丈夫歸來。夏普萊斯帶著平克頓的信出現,但在他讀出信中內容之前,五郎帶著要富有的王子山鳥出現,要撮合他與蝴蝶夫人。蝴蝶夫人禮貌的奉茶,但堅持自己不能再婚,因為她的美國丈夫並未拋棄她。她請五郎和山鳥離開。夏普萊斯嘗試讀出信中內容,但蝴蝶夫人因為接到丈夫的消息而太興奮,多次打斷他。 夏普萊斯最終放棄,只問蝴蝶夫人如果平克頓永遠不再回來她會怎樣做。震驚的蝴蝶夫人回答說她可能再次成為藝妓,或者死了更好。夏普萊斯提議她重新考慮山鳥的追求,令蝴蝶夫人極為憤怒。她跑開,然後帶著年幼的兒子回來。夏普萊斯不忍再對他讀出信中內容,因此離開,並答應會將孩子的事告知平克頓。一聲炮響從港口傳來,宣告有船抵達。蝴蝶夫人和鈴木帶著望遠鏡來到陽台,看到平克頓的船名。喜不自勝的蝴蝶夫人用鮮花佈置家局。夜幕降臨,蝴蝶夫人、鈴木還有孩子一同守夜,遠望港口。


第二幕 第二部分

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Event Details

Sat 22 Jul 2017
5:30pm - 9:00pm

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong

$170 Asia Society members/ FAMA members/ Students/ Seniors; $210 Non-members