Director of community relations & assistant general manager
March 12, 2014
Puccini’s libretto tells a simple, timeless love story that crossed oceans, and Edmonton Opera’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly does the same thing— literally.
The final opera of the 2013/14 season is a revival of the acclaimed Opera North production in Leeds, England, directed by Tim Albery and with French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels returning to the title role.
During a performance at the Grand Theatre in Leeds, a Telegraph reviewer described Duprels’ voice by saying, “For sheer sweetness of personality, for sheer pathos, I have seen few to match her.”
Her character, Cio-Cio-San, loves Pinkerton because of his differences, and because he’s not her idea of a typical American.
The production has moments of romance when called for, Albery said during a set presentation, but it also has hard edges — the truth, that Cio-Cio-San (Madame Butterfly) and Pinkerton do not see their marriage agreement in the same light, is not so kind.
With its powerful music, the opera is well-loved by audiences.
Listing Puccini, Massenet and Janáček as her favourite composers, Duprels said it’s their approach to composing that makes their works and Madama Butterfly so attractive.
“I think what they all have in common is this incredible way of telling a story, the drama is at the centre, the emotions are in every note, it’s a very passionate way of writing music. I think that’s why I love them so much,” she said.
The opera also has an added meaning for Edmonton Opera during its 50th season. This was the opera first performed by the company under the name of the Edmonton Opera Professional Association, with Dianne Gibson Nelsen and Ermanno Mauro in the title roles, in October 1963.
At that time, the president of the EOPA wrote in his program notes, “We make a bold debut.” Fifty years later, Edmonton Opera considers this just the overture.
Please contact Jelena Bojic, director of community relations and assistant general manager, at 780.392.7837 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange interviews with artists or to attend the media dress rehearsal on April 3 at 7 p.m. Madama Butterfly opens at the Jubilee on April 5 (8 p.m.), with additional performances on April 8 (7:30 p.m.) and April 10 (7:30 p.m).