Operatic history abounds in tragic endings but few touch the audience's heartstrings as poignantly as the death of Cio-Cio-San. Puccini's music is unequalled in its ability to arouse emotion and make us feel the characters' joy and pain as though they were our own.
Herheim's production is the exception that proves the rule. So powerful and personal is his concept of drama that he successfully weaves Dvořák's Symbolist universe into a fascinating world of his own. As a result, his version is one of the most sought-after by opera houses throughout the world.
Only Verdi's talent and expertise could have turned an involved plot, rife with the clichés of the Spanish Romantic school, into the quintessence of Italian 19th century opera. A musical miracle!
Opera in four acts. Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Music by Giuseppe Verdi. First performed on 24 December 1871 at the Cairo opera house. Premiered in Barcelona at the Teatre Principal on 16 April 1876. First performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 25 February 1877.
Opera in four acts. Libretto by Arturo Colautti based on a play by Eugène Scribe and Gabriel Legouvé. Music by Francesco Cilea. First performed on 26 November 1902 at the Teatro Lirico in Milan. First performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 7 May 1903.