UGA’s Performing Arts Center presents Opera Verdi Europa in Madame Butterfly Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall. The company will perform a concert version of Puccini’s operatic masterpiece with live orchestra and English supertitles.
Madame Butterfly stands as one of the most famous operas in the world. Composed by Giacomo Puccini with libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, the opera premiered on Feb. 17, 1904, at La Scala in Milan, Italy. The story is set in Japan in the early 20th century and tells of the ill-fated love between U.S. Navy Lt. Pinkerton and his geisha wife, Cio-Cio-San.
This performance of Madame Butterfly is part of the third U.S. tour by Opera Verdi Europa. Last season the UGA Performing Arts Center presented the company in a sold-out performance of Aida. Founded in 1996 by Ivan Kyurkchiev, Opera Verdi Europa is based in Bulgaria and regularly tours throughout Europe. The performances are collaborative productions of Bulgaria’s major opera companies and symphony orchestras, including the Sofia National Opera, Sofia Radio Orchestra, Sofia Symphony Orchestra, Varna Opera and Philharmonic Society, and the Stara Zagora Opera Theater.
Artistic Director Ivan Kyurkchiev pursued his studies at the Teatro all Scala, and in 1984 he became a laureate of the International Tenor Competition “Enrico Caruso” in Milan. In 1995 the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture appointed him general manager of the State Opera House in Rousse; under his leadership the theater’s reputation rose to a level on par with those of the greatest European opera stages.
A pre-concert lecture will be given by David Chapman, a graduate student in the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music. The lecture begins 45 minutes prior to the concert and is free and open to the public.