Puccini’s most popular opera Madama Butterfly, returns to Gran Teatre del Liceu

From January 12th to 29th returns to the stage of the Liceu after almost 6 years one of the most precious opera of Italian verismo, Madama Butterfly, under the baton of teacher Giampaolo Bisanti and with the replacement of Gilles Rico, along with three renowned sopranos who will alternate the role of Cio-Cio San.



Return to the Gran Teatre del Liceu the successful production of Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier on one of the most precious operas of Italian verismo. The production of the Liceu and the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden was already a success in 2006 and in 2013 and now it returns under the baton of maestro Giampaolo Bisanti and with the replacement of Gilles Rico. Three sopranos of international renown will alternate in the leading role. On the one hand the acclaimed Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian, who has just triumphed with the same role in the Wiener Staatsoper and debuted at the Liceu, and on the other, the premiere of Ainhoa ​​Arteta in the role of Cio-Cio San the next 20 of January. The Italian soprano Maria Teresa Leva will also debut the role of Cio-Cio-San in the Liceu, where she will sing for the first time, replacing Ainhoa ​​Arteta who has had to cancel the functions of the 13th and 16th of January due to laryngitis . Two great tenors such as Jorge de León, who has just played the same role in the Wiener Staatsoper, and Rame Lahaj, who is the star of La bohème in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and who also debuts in the Liceu, will play the American lieutenant Pinkerton that ends up breaking the geisha’s heart.


The drama of Cio-Cio San is still one of the favorites of the opera audience. Madama Butterfly tells us a story of unconditional love starring a young Nagasaki geisha who, after marrying American Lieutenant Pinkerton and being disowned by her own family, is also abandoned by her husband. When the officer returns married to another Western woman, he claims the son that Cio-Cio San has had in his absence, a fact that will eventually break the heart of the protagonist and lead to suicide.


After the success achieved in his two previous visits to the Liceu, this replacement comes back with a theatrical proposal that stands out for the elegance and simplicity typical of Japanese aesthetics. A minimalism inspired by the centennial stage spaces of the Japanese theater that allow to give the center of the staging to the tragedy of Butterfly. The costumes of Agostino Cavalca and the lighting of Christophe Forey work in harmony to provide this installation with a poetic space full of beauty and small details.


Giacomo Puccini is probably one of the most popular composers in history, a great musician who knew how to move the viewer. Madama Butterfly has many moments that give a good example of it, as the wonderful duo between Pinkerton and Cio-Cio San during their wedding night “Vine the sera”, or the legendary chorus closed mouth, which enhances the agonizing wait of the geisha for her beloved. It is precisely in this long wait when the soprano intones the most emblematic aria of Puccini’s opera, “Un bel di vendremo”.


Although today is one of his most popular operas and performed in the world, Puccini lived one of the most resounding failures of his life when Madama Butterfly premiered at La Scala in Milan on February 17th, 1904. The revisions made by the Italian composer later they turned it into one of the most recognized operas of the repertoire (in its final version of 1907). Curiously, in Barcelona Madama Butterfly premiered not at the Liceu but at the Teatre del Bosc (in Gràcia) on August 2nd, 1907. The first performances at the Liceu took place on December 10th, 1909 and its last was on July 29th, 1909. July 2013. In the La Rambla Coliseum a total of 178 times has been represented.


Buy your tickets and check dates here.