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Because the La Scala première on 17 February 1904 was not well received, Puccini immediately withdrew the work from publication so that he could revise it. The new version, which was premièred on 28 May 1904 in Brescia, was wildly successful, but the composer continued to make changes as he readied the piece for London and Paris where it also met with rave reviews. Madama Butterfly has been a monumental success ever since and, according to Opera America's statistics, it is currently the most popular opera in the United States.

Barbara Divis as Cio-Cio-San in Arizona Opera's 'Madama Butterfly'. Photo © 2007 Scott Humbert
Barbara Divis as Cio-Cio-San in Arizona Opera's 'Madama Butterfly'. Photo © 2007 Scott Humbert

On 26 January 2007, Arizona Opera presented Madama Butterfly at Symphony Hall in Phoenix. The original, extremely traditional production was by Colin Graham OBE, but it was revived in Arizona by E Reed Fisher. It was basically the 1904 'Brescia Version' with the addition of the tenor's 'Addio Fiorito Asil' which was written later for Paris.

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Copyright © 4 February 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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