Teatro alla Scala 2016-17 Opening Night: Meet the Stars of Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’

Photo by Marco Brescia & Rudy Amisano/ Teatro alla Scala

Every year the Teatro all Scala opens with a star-studded cast of international singers and directors. And this year is no different as Music Director Riccardo Chailly has lined up some of today’s renowned Puccini interpreters for the opening night of “Madama Butterfly.”

The Cast

Cio Cio San – Rising Star Maria Jose Siri takes on the role of Madama Butterfly for the first time in her first opening night at La Scala. The soprano, who is renowned for her dramatic vocal powers has been praised for her interpretation of Verdi’s “Aida” and Puccini’s “Tosca.” Additionally, she has become a favorite in Italy singing in every major theater including La Scala, Torino, Verona, Parma and Bologna. Siri has also worked with the likes of Placido Domingo, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, and Gianandrea Noseda. This season Siri is slated to perform the title role in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” in Torino and Napoli and will also sing the role of Maddalena in Giordano’s “Andrea Chenier” in Roma and Berlin. She will tour with Chailly around the world performing Verdi’s “Requiem.”

Pinkerton – Bryan Hymel is considered one of the greatest tenors today, particularly for his work in the French repertoire. The tenor came to recognition when he stepped in for an ailing Jonas Kaufmann in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” at the Royal Opera House in London. Hymel triumphed in the role and from there on he became the toast of the town. He has debuted at the Metropolitan Opera where he triumphed as Pinkerton and also sang “Les Troyens” in a Live in HD performance. He has also made important debuts in Chicago, Vienna, San Francisco, Paris and Salzburg. His performances of Meyerbeer’s “Robert Le Diable, Bizet’s “Carmen” and “Les Troyens” are available on DVD and his first album, “Heroique,” was released by Erato. Of his Pinkerton critics noted that he was “vocally assured” and “his voice fits the verismo style well.”

Sharpless – Carlos Alvarez is a world famous baritone who has sung in every major opera company including the Vienna Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and Gran Teatro Liceu. He is best known for his interpretations of Verdi roles and is one of the leading “Rigoletto’s” and “Iago’s.” Last season at La Scala, Alvarez sang the role of Giacomo in Verdi’s “Giovanna d’Arco” with Anna Netrebko and he was also Count Almaviva in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” alongside Diana Damrau. The baritone has an immense discography that includes DVD’s of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino,” “Macbeth,” and “Otello.”  The baritone is scheduled to return this season to Vienna to sing in Verdi’s “Otello” and will return to the Gran Teatro Liceu of Barcelona for Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

Suzuki – Annalisa Stroppa is a major rising star who has performed around the world with major artists. She was a finalist at the “XLVII F.Vinas Competition” in Barcelona and a winner of several competitions including “TIM”, “Magda Olivero,” “Iris Adami Corradetti,” “Comunità Europea A.Belli in Spoleto,” and “Riccardo Zandonai,” where she also won three special prizes. Stroppa recently appeared in Leoncavallo’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” with Jonas Kaufmann at the Salzburg Festival and was also featured on Andrea Boccelli’s recording of Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette.” In addition to her work in “Madama Butterfly” this season, Stroppa will also be featured at La Scala in Verdi’s “Falstaff” and will also return to Monte Carlo for performances of Rosina in Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.”

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