Erica Wenmeng Gu

Soprano Erica Wenmeng Gu performed Madama Butterfly on Aircraft Carrier in La Spezia

On June 22, for the first time in the history, Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini has been staged aboard the Garibaldi aircraft carrier (anchored at the military port of La Spezia), a symbol of the Italian Navy, featuring our soprano Erica Wenmeng Gu in the leading role.

“A symbol of the Italian Navy, the "Garibaldi" aircraft carrier hosted the performance. This marks the first time such an event has occurred. It was a significant moment, followed internationally, even drawing the attention of the London Times.

Great success for Madama Butterfly, performed on the evening of Saturday, June 22, aboard the Garibaldi aircraft carrier, an emblem of the Italian Navy. The idea of staging the opera in such an unusual location quickly turned from a dream into reality.

This grand event brought prestige to La Spezia. It is the first time in the world that an opera has been performed on a military ship. In the USA, aircraft carriers have previously hosted sporting events (including basketball games). However, what happened in La Spezia is truly unique, capturing the attention of international media.

The performance took place at the naval base in La Spezia on Via Amendola. It was part of the "La Spezia Lirica Forum," dedicated this year to Puccini, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the great artist and composer's death.

The stars of this moving Madama Butterfly were the young singers from the masterclass conducted by baritone Roberto Sèrvile. The artistic direction of the event was also entrusted to the maestro, with Paolo Panizza and Stefano Giaroli responsible for the stage direction, concept, and lighting. Stefano Giaroli also conducted the symphony orchestra of Terre Verdiane, with the choir of the Opera of Parma.

The initiative was a collaboration between the Municipality of La Spezia, the Amici del Loggiato association, and the Italian Navy. Before the performance, the band of the Northern Interregional Maritime Command, directed by Maestro Vito Ventre, gave a concert.” (La Nazione)