Duration: 02:37:43"


Giacomo Puccini

Cio-Cio-San becomes an old ghost, a storyteller who is fated to tell her tale over and over again, in La Monnaie’s new MADAMA BUTTERFLY. The Danish collective Hotel Pro Forma, known for their stunning theatrical productions, present their new take on the beloved Puccini classic.

’If I am not moved, if the libretto does not touch my heart... then it’s not for me.’ Puccini knew what he was looking for in an opera libretto, and the fact that the story of a delicate Japanese ‘butterfly’ moved him deeply is apparent in every note of the score. The young Japanese girl Cio-Cio-San has been waiting for years for the return of her American ‘husband’, the naval officer Pinkerton. When she finally grasps the truth, her fate is sealed and she takes the action that her code of honour imposes.

MADAMA BUTTERFLY marked a new phase in Puccini’s development, in which he enriched his musical palette with the exoticism of the Far East. The fact that his direct emotionality contains a universal dimension is clear from the lasting worldwide popularity of this work.


Hotel Pro Forma brings East and West together in a theatrical ritual for our time: Puccini’s classic tale becomes a traditional Japanese ghost story, combining the narrative structure of the ritual Noh theatre and the artistic puppetry of the Bunraku.

Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, a master of the Italian repertoire, makes his debut at La Monnaie. Alexia Voulgaridou sings Cio-Cio-San, a role she has embodied at some of the most renowned opera houses of the world: the Hamburg State Opera, the Sydney Opera House, the New National Theatre Tokyo, the Royal Opera House London – and now at La Monnaie in Brussels.


Alexia Voulgaridou - Cio-Cio-San
Ning Liang
 - Suzuki
Marta Beretta - Kate Pinkerton
Marcelo Puente
 - F. B. Pinkerton
Riccardo Botta - Goro
Aris Argiris - Sharpless
Aldo Heo - Prince Yamadori
Mikhail Kolelishvili - The Bonze, Cio-Cio-San's uncle
Wiard Witholt - The commissioner, the officer
René Laryea - Yakuside
Rosa Brandao - Cio-Cio-San's aunt
Birgitte Bønding - Cio-Cio-San's mother
Adrienne Visser - Cio-Cio-San's cousin
Puppeteers - Suze van Miltenburg, Ruben Mardulier, Tim Hammer, Joris de Jong Dancers - Dorian Salkin, Hippolyte Bohouo, Johann Fourrière, Ghislain Grellier, Maya Kawatake, Barthélémy Manias-Melaye, Garbiel Molina, Rosandra Nicoletti, Marion Rhéty, Sophy Ribrault, Maude Rieder, Christine Sollie Symphonic Orchestra of la Monnaie Chorus of la Monnaie Academie de choeur de la Monnaie s.l.d de Benoît Giaux Conductor - Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli Director - Kirsten Dehlholm (Hotel Pro Forma) Artistic collaboration - Jon R. Skulberg Sets - Maja Ziska Costumes - Henrik Vibskov Light - Jesper Kongshaug Dramaturgy - Krystian Lada Collaboration on choreography - Kenzo Kusuda Collaboratrion on puppeteering - Ulrike Quade Collaboratrion on directing - Marie Lambert Chorus Master - Martino Faggiani Production: Production De Munt / La Monnaie - Coproduction Ulrike Quade Company TV director: Gerd Van Geel

Available until

07 April 2017 at 23h59 CET
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The Opera Platform presents Puccini – MADAMA BUTTERFLY from La Monnaie. Starting 22 February 2017 at 15h13 CET, the opera will be available as video on demand.


This opera is a full-length performance offered in addition to our regular programme. Subtitles in six languages will not be provided.
La Monnaie: Madama Butterfly

‘Cio-Cio-San is a song, a melody'

MADAMA BUTTERFLY remains one of the most beloved Puccini operas – and one of his most difficult works for contemporary directors as it touches topics such as colonialism and male dominance. Kirsten Dehlholm, founder of the Danish artistic collective Hotel Pro Forma, talks about her vision for a modern approach to the opera and its heroine.