As the young Japanese girl cruelly abandoned by an American naval officer, Ermonela Jaho caused a sensation with her Covent Garden performances of Cio-Cio San in Puccini’s tragedy Madama Butterfly. Wonderfully, one of these performances was preserved for posterity and, originally aired in cinemas in 2017, it's now available on DVD on Blu-ray. In tandem with a fabulous cast that also included Marcelo Puente as the callous Pinkerton, Antonio Pappano - renowned for his interpretations of Puccini - conducted the exceptional Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Powerful performances by everyone concerned show why Madama Butterfly remains one of the all-time operatic favourites.
Cio-Cio San:Ermonela Jaho Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton: Marcelo Puente Goro: Carlo Bosi Sharpless:Scott Hendricks Suzuki: Elizabeth DeShong Bonze: Jeremy White Kate Pinkerton: Emily Edmonds Imperial Commissioner: Gyula Nagy Prince Yamadori: Yuriy Yurchuk
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra of The Royal Opera House Conductor:Antonio Pappano Stage Director: Moshe Leiser/ Patrice Caurier
"Pack extra handkerchiefs for these performances." Financial Times
"The whole evening is, in fact, outstanding. Ermonela Jaho, one of the great verismo interpreters, brings uncompromising veracity to the title role, and the combination of vulnerability and torrential emotion just tears you in two." The Guardian
"Ermonela Jaho. The Albanian soprano is one of the great singing actresses of our time. Her Suor Angelica (in Puccini’s Il trittico) ripped London audiences – and Jaho herself – to shreds. Her portrayal of the tragic Cio-Cio-San is no less moving... Her suicide is devastating, flapping her ‘wings’ in her death throes set before a giant branch of weeping cherry blossoms, and had me in pieces, both in the house and here on screen." Gramophone
"Jaho alternates between vulnerability and feistiness, at times suggesting the fragility of a bunraku puppet with her body language. Her great duet with Puente cries to the heavens, and her long solo in which hope contends with fear has us hanging on every bar. She is the best Madama B that London has seen in years." The Independent
DVD/Blu-ray of the month: Gramophone Magazine, December 2018