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Last on

Mon 25 Mar 2013 16:00 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 25 March 2013

Soprano Amanda Roocroft explores the impact of Madame Butterfly in performance and popular culture.

Leading British Soprano Amanda Roocroft explores the story of Japanese girl Cio Cio San, who evolving from a short novel was brought to the stage by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini in his opera Madama Butterfly. In this programme soprano's Angela Gheorghiu, Anne Sophie Duprels and Victoria De Los Angeles reveal why performing as Butterfly is one of the most exacting roles in the operatic repertory.

Author and Japanese expert Lesley Downer and opera enthusiast Rod Wood provide details of the origins of her tragic story and present fascinating insights into the life and work of Puccini.

Madame Butterfly's impact in performance is also discussed by members of Northern Ballet and Opera North and her incredible influence in the world of popular culture is revealed; including the time she caused a stir in the pop charts when music impresario Malcolm Mclaren introduced her to a whole new audience.

Using archive and new interviews along with stand-out vocal performances, Roocroft takes a captivating journey through one of the world's best loved operas.

Puccini readings by Oliveria Saverio
Butterfly readings by Lisa Fordyce

Written and produced in Salford by Stephen Garner

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