Puccini’s most emotional melodrama, “Madam Butterfly”, will be performed in Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre under the conduction of the famous japanese maestro Hirofumi Yoshida. 4 December 6pm.
In “Madam Butterfly” , Puccini eschewed intricate action and boisterous dramatic events, opting instead for an intimate story and highlighting the psychology of the characters, fleshing out by his music the tiniest details, oscillations and extreme emotional surges, the essential contrast between the Japanese and Western mentality, which he also aptly renders by means of many a time surprisingly modified quotations of the US national anthem, as well as giving a forcible depiction of the local colour of Japan, where the story is set.
Puccini’s opera “Madam Butterfly” has quite an unusual fate, because it failed during the premiere. Though all the musicians who participated in the production did not doubt its success. The audience was disappointed with the familiar motives from other operas of the composer. The opera is peculiar not only in Puccini’s great music, but also in unusual Japanese culture.
The opera is named after the short story “Madam Butterfly” by the American lawyer and author John Luther Long, which served as the basis for a drama by the New York impresario and playwright David Belasco, which in turn directly inspired Puccini to compose his celebrated opera.
The tones of authentic Japanese melodies, Japanese bells and tam-tam in the orchestra – all this creates the imitable aura of one of the Puccini’s most widely performed operas.
Performed in Italian
Hirofumi Yoshida was born in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1968. He spent his childhood in Funabashi. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree at Tokyo College of Music, where he specialised in conducting, piano, double bass and musicology.
Hirofumi Yoshida moved to Europe on the young artists programme hosted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and continued his studies at leading opera houses such as Bayerische Staatsoper. He made his debut in Italy conducting Pagliacci at Termi di Caracalla.
In 2008, Maestro Yoshida was the first Japanese conductor directing Aida at Cairo Opera House, Egypt. Given the high success of the performance, the Cairo Opera House invited Yoshida to conduct Madama Butterfly in 2009.
In the 2008 season Maestro Yoshida conducted La Traviata in Paris, Le Nozze di Figaro in Japan and Don Carlos in Hong Kong. In 2009, he conducted L’Elisir d’Amore with the orchestra of Naples’s Teatro di San Carlo. In the same year, he directed the orchestra of Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily, and Turandot at Marrucino Theater in Chieti, Italy. In 2011 he conducted Madama Butterfly at “Japan Festival” in Novara, Italy. The event was organised from the local authorities in collaboration with the embassy of Japan.
In 2010, he was appointed the Music Director at Teatro Sociale di Mantova making it the first time for Japanese conductor to assume the role in Italy and also was invited to Festival Puccini as the first Japanese to conduct Puccini music.
His recent success includes open-air opera performances at Nijo Castle in 2014, Himeji Castle and Kyoto National Museum in 2015, Heijo-kyo site in 2016, and Nagoya Castle site in 2018 and 2019. Artistic Director since 2014 and also Principal Conductor since 2020 of Bologna Philharmonic Orchestra
Special Appointment Professor, Toho College of Music in Japan. Artistic Director since 2014 of Sawakami Opera Foundation.
In February 2015, Hirofumi Yoshida conducted eight performances of Madama Butterfly at Bologna Opera House. In May-June 2015 he conducted 6 performances of Don Pasquale at Teatro Verdi in Trieste. In July 2015 he has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Bologna Opera House. During Kyoto Opera Festival 2015, in Semptember, he conducted four performances of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci in Kyoto, in Tokyo and at World Heritage site Himeji castle in Himeji.
At present Hirofumi Yoshida is special-appointment professor at Toho College of Music, in Japan.
Looking forward to enjoy the performance!