Go behind the curtain and discover opera favourites at Milton Keynes

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

Madama Butterfly by Puccini

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Hollywood and opera will blend seamlessly together when Glyndebourne visits Milton Keynes Theatre next week.

The well-established company will perform Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly and a Behind the Curtain performance.

Not many comic operas begin with a cold-blooded murder and end with the hero’s consignment to hell – but Don Giovanni swings restlessly between comedy and tragedy to startling effect.

Mozart’s irresistible music follows suit, its famous highlights ranging from Don Giovanni’s sparkling Champagne aria to the seductive duet Là ci darem la mano.

Puccini loved to portray ‘great sorrows in little souls’, as he put it, and never did he do so more stirringly than in Madama Butterfly.

Derived from a true story of a Japanese geisha married and abandoned by an American sailor, Puccini’s popular masterwork unfolds as a disastrous clash of East and West.

In Glyndebourne’s first-ever production of Madama Butterfly, director Annilese Miskimmon delves deep into the humanity of the ill-fated Cio-Cio San and the American naval officer who marries her after both fall prey to false and dangerous stereotypes of one another’s cultures.

Puccini’s use of authentic Japanese scales and folk melodies gives the music an irresistibly exotic flavour. Yet Madama Butterfly is Italian opera at its melodious and moving best, featuring such beloved numbers as the well known Flower Duet, Humming Chorus and the heart-rending aria, Un bel dì, vedrem.

Behind the Curtain is a show that will foster a sense of curiosity with a behind-the-scenes exploration of what goes into putting an opera on stage.

It runs from Tuesday to Saturday, November 8-12. For more details or to book tickets in advance visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes or call 0844 871 7652.