Palm Beach Opera is thrilled to announce the 2018 mainstage opera season, which will include performances of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca January 26-28, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide February 23-25, and Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart March 23-25. All mainstage opera performances will take place at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.
Subscription renewals are currently in progress, and new subscriptions are available starting Monday, March 6, 2017.
Today, Madama Butterfly is one of the most adored stage shows in any opera company’s repertoire. Around the world, its appearance on a season schedule incites anticipation and excitement within the local arts community. But the immense popularity of this production nowadays is a stark contrast to its awkward beginnings on the original opening night over 100 years ago.
After the unqualified successes of La Bohème in 1896 and Tosca in 1900, the Milanese society at the famous La Scala opera house was expecting big things from the premier of Giacomo Puccini’s latest effort in 1904, Madama Butterfly.
The bubbly and glamorous Rosina Storchio, a crowd favorite, was cast as the lead soprano and she opened the show with an energetic prelude in her role as Cio-Cio-San. But instead of the anticipated uproar of applause and “bravas!” from the audience, there was only the deafening sound of silence. Crickets. A rare response, indeed, from the normally fervent La Scala crowd.
The rest of that night at the opera didn’t go much better. Puccini was distraught, to say the least. So much so that he cancelled the remaining shows in Milan, refunded the money he had been advanced, and took his musical score back to the proverbial drawing board.
Several months later, the revised version was relaunched in Brescia, led by Maestro Arturo Toscanini. This time the performance duly wowed the audience. More than wowed them, they were overcome by the emotion of the music and the passion of the singers’ voices. There were boisterous cheers, prolonged rounds of applause, and repeated calls for encores!
The precise reasons for the lukewarm opening night have never been adequately explained. Suffice to say, whatever issues that had cursed the premier performance have long since been worked out. According to OperaBase, Madama Butterfly was the #5 opera in the world for the 2014-2015 season; right behind another one of Puccini’s blockbusters, Tosca.
Press Coverage and Reviews
Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ to kick off Palm Beach Opera’s 60th season of 3 productions – Palm Beach Daily News
Dozen young singers make for a beautiful PB Opera Liederabend – Palm Beach Arts Paper
On a live performance of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Palm Beach Opera – The New Criterion
Amid happy innovations, PB Opera mounts beautiful ‘Bohème’ – Palm Beach Arts Paper
Guest artists make Palm Beach Opera’s ‘Flute’ magical – Palm Beach Daily News
Superb singers make PB Opera’s ‘Flute’ magical amid pandemic – Palm Beach Arts Paper
La tragedia è finita! – The New Criterion
Palm Beach Opera keeps it grand with a first-class, al fresco “Bohème” – South Florida Classical Review
Outstanding singing distinguishes PB Opera’s ‘Pagliacci’ – Palm Beach Daily News
Mozart’s music, fine cast win out over distractions in PBO’s “Magic Flute” – South Florida Classical Review
Opera Returns with a Twist – AFP News
Opera, Live and In-Person in Palm Beach. Part 1– Musical America
Palm Beach Opera moves to fairgrounds for first outdoor festival – Palm Beach Daily News
Palm Beach Opera Reinvents its Season – OPERA News
Human element makes Palm Beach Opera’s ‘Turandot’ sing – Palm Beach Daily News
Superb singing, staging highlight Palm Beach Opera’s splendid “Turandot” – South Florida Classical Review
Palm Beach Opera offers a trim, well-sung “Barber of Seville” – South Florida Classical Review
‘Barber of Seville’ cuts it in all the right ways – Palm Beach Daily News
“Palm Beach Opera’s second production of 2020 was a return visit with everyone’s favorite Rossini barber.” – OPERA News, June 2020
PBO does overdue justice to Don Giovanni – Schmopera
Palm Beach Opera serves up a striking, film noir “Don Giovanni” – South Florida Classical Review
Palm Beach Opera’s reworked ‘Don Giovanni’ outstanding – Palm Beach Daily News
Stellar voices power Palm Beach Opera’s luxurious, heartfelt “La Traviata” – South Florida Classical Review
Palm Beach Opera Debuts Summer Tapas – Boca Magazine
Backstage Pass with Daniel Biaggi – Boca Magazine
Candide is the Don Carlos of Musical Theater – Opera Magazine
Choreography keeps singers safe in Tosca — ‘the original me-too story’ – Palm Beach Daily News
Palm Beach Opera’s staging of Puccini’s Tosca is a delight to eye and ear – Classical Source
‘Tosca’ still a killer opera – Palm Beach Daily News
Steps forward for opera’s women: Tosca at PBO – Schmopera
Palm Beach Opera’s ‘Candide’ is magnificent – Palm Beach Daily News
Palm Beach Opera fetes Bernstein in style with a winning “Candide” – South Florida Classical Review
‘Candide,’ reconceived: Satirical operetta opens Friday at the Kravis – Palm Beach Daily News
Candide and a Fortuitous Reunion in Palm Beach – The Bernstein Experience
Review: ‘Figaro’ ends Palm Beach Opera season on a strong note – Palm Beach Daily News
Palm Beach Opera wraps season with an entertaining “Figaro” – South Florida Classical Review
Familiar ‘Figaro’ gets new production by Palm Beach Opera – Palm Beach Daily News
Just plain great: PBO’s Le Nozze di Figaro – Schmopera
Palm Beach Opera closes season with a delightful “Pirates of Penzance” – South Florida Classical Review
Palm Beach Opera ‘Pirates of Penzance’ traditional but engaging – Palm Beach Daily News
PB Opera’s Liederabend a fine showcase for standout young singers – Palm Beach ArtsPaper
Verdi’s “Rigoletto” receives a crackling performance from Palm Beach Opera – South Florida Classical Review
Palm Beach Opera hits high bar on ‘Rigoletto’ – Palm Beach Daily News
Tenor Michael Fabiano excels with ease at Palm Beach Opera gala – Palm Beach Daily News
Palm Beach Opera opens season with a vivid and affecting “Butterfly” – South Florida Classical Review
‘Madama Butterfly’ soars – Palm Beach Daily News