On Friday a group of us set out for a night out at the opera. We have been waiting for this particular opera to take place in Düsseldorf for quite some time. And while we knew what we were getting outselves into by picking Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, we never expected to leave the opera with our hearts quite so broken. At the end there was a discussion about how many members actually cried. I certainly did.
Madame Butterfly is a beautiful story about love, hope and betrayal. Read any review and you’re bound to find the words ‘sad’ and ‘beautiful’. While both are certainly true, sad doesn’t quite capture the essence an opera that is, at its heart, pure tragedy.
The story centres around an American soldier stationed in Nagasaki, Japan, who is offered a Geisha as a bride. He agrees to the marriage, believing that this trivial formality is necessary in order to spend the night with her. The following day he leaves Japan and flies back home to America.
Cio-Cio-San – Madame Butterfly – believing theirs to be a true love, remains faithful, waiting and hoping for his return. Her servant Suzuki however has her doubts. Three years have passed since his departure, and Madame Butterfly is left all alone, ostracised by society and her family. All she has is her son.. and her hope. Hope that she will soon be reunited with her husband. Three years pass before he returns, alas with his new American wife. Too late she realises that their marriage meant nothing to him and she has been dishonoured. In despair, she commits suicide.
The love that Cio-Cio-San has for her husband is so pure and strong, that you end up wishing and hoping right there with her. And even when you know the outcome, Liana Aleksanyan’s powerful performance would have you convinced that they will one day reunite. Sitting in Düsseldorf’s beautiful opera house, everyone around me was on the edge of our seat. For 3 hours we sat there completely in awe by the wonderful performances of a truly remarkable cast! Just like Cio-Cio-San we hoped, just to have our hearts broken at the end!
If you haven’t had a chance to see it, there are still a few dates available in December and January!
Watching the Madame Butterfly opera with the Rheinbuzz group was a lovely experience! This was my 2nd time with the group; a lovely mix of internationals and locals. The opera was very moving and thanks to Rheinbuzz, we got some amazing seats at great prices! All in all, a fun cultural evening and one i would definitely repeat!– Anita