Friday, 21 July 2023

The GNO’s Madama Butterfly on Mezzo Live


The Greek National Opera’s new production of Madama Butterfly, presented and filmed this June at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, is to screen on the world’s greatest opera channel from 22 July through until 20 August. Puccini’s masterpiece –conducted by Vassilis Christopoulos and directed by Olivier Py– is to be broadcast on Mezzo Live in more than 80 countries around the world. This GNO partnership with Mezzo Live is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.

Leading director, and Artistic Director of the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Olivier Py staged a political yet poetic take on Madama Butterfly for the Greek National Opera, guiding his lead soloists to give highly charged and emotional performances. The sets and costumes by Pierre-André Weitz alluded to the violent imposition of American culture, the painful loss of Japan’s cultural identity, and the nuclear annihilation of Nagasaki – as if this were something Puccini had foreseen. Py’s decision to set the orchestra up on the Odeon of Herodes Atticus stage imbued the spectacle with a different dimension, bringing the scenic action right up close to the audience.

The Korean soprano Anna Sohn gave an exquisite performance as Cio-Cio-San, captivating audiences and eliciting their heartfelt appreciation. The lead quartet of soloists was rounded out by Andrea Carè as Pinkerton, Alisa Kolosova as Suzuki, and Dionysios Sourbis as Sharpless – and all three were exceptional. Performing with them on stage were the GNO soloists Diamanti Kritsotaki, Yannis Kalyvas, Haris Andrianos, Petros Magoulas, Petros Salatas, Christos Lazos, Vassiliki Petroyanni, Vaia Kofou, and Vicky Athanassiou.

Acclaimed conductor Vassilis Christopoulos and the GNO Orchestra also garnered the warmest of applause for their excellent rendition of Puccini’s score. Agathangelos Georgakatos served as chorus master of the GNO Chorus.

Mezzo broadcasts in more than 80 countries around the world. From its launch in France back in 1996 right through until today, it has been the world’s leading television network for classical music, opera, and dance, with a devoted following tuning in across the globe. Its programming features the most major opera and dance productions, as well as concerts, presented by the foremost opera houses and concert venues on the planet. In Greece, Mezzo is broadcast by Cosmote TV.

Madama Butterfly – Giacomo Puccini
Premieres Saturday, 22 July at 18.00 (Greek time) on Mezzo Live
Upcoming broadcast schedule, through until 20 August:
Filmed at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on 4 and 7 June 2023

Presented as part of the Athens Epidaurus Festival
Conductor: Vassilis Christopoulos
Director: Olivier Py
Sets, costumes: Pierre-André Weitz
Lighting: Bertrand Killy
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos

Cio-Cio-San: Anna Sohn
Suzuki: Alisa Kolosova
Kate Pinkerton: Diamanti Kritsotaki
B. F. Pinkerton: Andrea Carè
Sharpless: Dionysios Sourbis
Goro: Yannis Kalyvas
Prince Yamadori / Imperial commissioner: Haris Andrianos
The Bonze: Petros Magoulas | Yakuside: Petros Salatas
Official registrar: Christos Lazos | Cio-Cio-San’s mother: Vassiliki Petroyanni
Aunt: Vaia Kofou | Cousin: Vicky Athanassiou

With the Orchestra and Chorus of the Greek National Opera


Production Sponsors MYTILINEOS Energy & Metals and EUROBANK



Lead Donor of the GNO & Production Donor

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)