Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
The famous tragedy of the young geisha Cio-Cio San and the American naval officer who pursues, then betrays, her comes alive with a fresh viewpoint for today’s audiences. Experience Puccini’s beloved masterpiece from Cio-Cio San’s perspective as she transforms from an object of lust into a fully realized woman, wife, and mother. Grounded in the original historical setting of the mid-19th century, the achingly beautiful music soars above a modern-day commentary on power dynamics and western exploitation. Opera News calls the production “proof that a ‘traditional’ approach need not lack excitement, credibility and passion.”
Soprano Eri Nakamura, “a wonderfully characterful singer” (Gramophone) makes her company and role debut as Cio-Cio San, and Bryan Hymel (2012’s La bohème) returns to Opera Philadelphia in the role of Lt. Pinkerton.
Both making company debuts, baritone Anthony Clark Evans is a "warm-toned, vivacious and humane" Sharpless (San Francisco Chronicle), and mezzo Kristen Choi reprises her “warm and lovely Suzuki” (Washington Post). “Outstanding” tenor Julius Ahn (Opera magazine), last seen in Opera Philadelphia’s Turandot, revisits Goro, his signature role; Wei Wu, a top prize-winner in the Taiwan Vocal Competition, portrays Bonze; and “promising lyric baritone” Takaoki Onishi (Opera News) takes on the role of Prince Yamadori.