Tourists and city residents who found themselves at the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou street in Athens on the afternoon of July 18, were pleasantly surprised. The Orchestra of the National Opera was having an open rehearsal of Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, which will be presented at the Herodion on July 27, 28, 30 and 31.
Shortly before sunset outside the Meropeio Foundation, the orchestra of the National Opera started performing as people gathered, and although there was a lot of traffic on the main streets of Athens, the conductor of the show Myron Michailidis started a tour in the world of the legendary opera with significant scenes.
Hundreds of Greeks and foreigners of all ages fascinated by the spectacle, watched fragments of the great music of Puccini and unique lyrical arias from tenor Loutsano Ganci and sopranos Tselia Costea and Olesya Petrova.
The initiative taken by the orchestra’s musicians and soloists to leave the closed halls of rehearsals for a while, shows the national opera’s policy of extroversion, which aims at bringing residents and tourists in Athens in touch with important works of art.
Madama Butterfly is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. The libretto of the opera is based in part on the short story Madame Butterfly (1898) by John Luther Long, which was dramatized by David Belasco. Elements also appear to derive from the novel Madame Chrysanthème (1887) by Pierre Loti. According to a scholar, the story of the opera was based on events that actually occurred in Nagasaki in the early 1890’s.
The original version of the opera, in two acts, had its premiere on 17 February, 1904 at La Scala in Milan. It was very poorly received despite the presence of such notable singers, such as soprano Rosina Storchio, tenor Giovanni Zenatello and baritone Giuseppe De Luca in the lead roles. This was due in large part to the late completion and inadequate time for rehearsals. Puccini revised the opera, splitting the second act into two acts and making other changes. On May 28, 1904, this version was performed in Brescia and was a huge success.
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