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Concert “How Much Sun, How Much Sky, How Much Sea”

December 23, 2022 @ 8:30 pm


‘How much sky, how much sun, how much sea’ – The charm of Japan in European opera

Yasko Sato , soprano
Ana Victoria Pitts , mezzo-soprano
Dave Monaco , tenor

Jonathan Brandani, Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic conductor

«On March 31, 1854, under great pressure from the Western colonial powers, Japan signed the Convention of Kanagawa with the United States, a commercial treaty which ended the almost total isolation in which the country had been plunged for almost two and a half centuries. If it is true that in 1854 the Western world conquered Japan, it is equally true that after the forced opening Japan conquered the rest of the world through the influence that its original culture began to exercise: prints, drawings and publications describing Japanese art and culture invade the West and ignite the imagination of artists and intellectuals.In the arts, the suggestion exerted by Japanese art is so strong as to give birth to a real current defined precisely Japonisme . In the purely musical field, even European composers are not alien to the exotic charm of the very particular Japanese musical culture, characterized by systems of scales, melodies and rhythms totally different from those of the West .

The concert program offers wonderful pages extracted from the main operas that were born under the pressure of the powerful suggestion exerted by Japanese art on Western composers: La princesse Jaune by Camille Saint- Saëns , Madame Chrysanth è me by André Messager, Iris by Mascagni and of course Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini , which represents the last true masterpiece in the wake of musical Japonisme .

La Princesse Jaune by Camille Saint- Saens , written in 1872, is the fi rst work whose subject was the fascination exerted by Japan on the European imaginary . The work is about the young Dutchman Korn é lis, fascinated to such an extent by Japanese culture that he falls in love with the image of a Japanese girl painted on a screen and indulges in daydreams in which he imagines being transported to that distant civilization to.

The opera Madame Chrysanth è me by André Messager, written in 1893, is instead based on a story – which actually happened – which will later also form the starting point of the plot of Madama Butterfly by Puccini.

The fulcrum of the concert program are various excerpts from the famous Madama Butterfly (1904) by Giacomo Puccini, to which will be added excerpts from Mascagni’s Iris (1898), another work inspired by the Japanese world.

To complete the look at the world of Japan there is the Italian premiere of an excerpt from the opera Yuzuru ( The Crane of Dusk , 1952) by Ikuma Dan, one of the leading Japanese composers of the twentieth century who was able to combine scales and idiomatic rhythms in his music of Japanese popular music with the symphonic writing typical of the European tradition.

Maestro Jonathan Brandani


Camille Saint – Saëns da The Princess Jaune(1872) Overture  Aria J’aime dans son lointaine mystère

Giacomo Puccini  fromMme Butterfly(1904)
          But does he come back? I’ll be back

André Messager  fromMadame Chry santhe me(1893)
Intermezzo Act II
Intermezzo Act IV

Giacomo Puccini  fromMme Butterfly(1904)
          Say it again et ‘kill!

André Messager  fromMadame Chry santhe me(1893)

Ikum Dan  da Yuzuru ( The Twilight Crane , 1952) Ariaよひょう、私の大事なよひょう”                     ( Yohyo, Watashino Daijina Yohyo )

Giacomo Puccini  fromMme Butterfly(1904) Andante sustained

Pietro Mascagni  fromIris  (1898) Un di ‘, I was small (Song of the octopus)

Camille Saint – Saëns da The Princess Jaune(1872) Aria Vision dont mon âme éprise

Giacomo Puccini  fromMadame Butterfly (1904)
          Dies with honor


Teatro del Giglio
piazza del Giglio
Lucca, LU 55100 Italy
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0583 46531
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