[Iris] Talise Trevigne as Iris; photo by Todd Norwood
Talise Trevigne as Iris; photo by Todd Norwood


Composed by Pietro Mascagni
Libretto by Luigi Illica
American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director
Directed by James Darrah

Composed by Puccini’s friend Pietro Mascagni (perhaps best known for his beloved Cavalleria rusticana), Iris debuted in Rome in 1898, ushering in a wave of fin-de-siècle exotic opera. Mascagni’s dreamlike score provides the backdrop for Luigi Illica’s haunting libretto recounting the tragic story of Iris, an innocent young girl tricked into abandoning her elderly blind father and lured to a brothel in Tokyo’s notorious red-light district.
The stellar cast is headlined by Grammy-nominated soprano Talise Trevigne, lauded for her “deep melting sound” (New York Times) as the vulnerable Iris. Austrian Australian tenor Gerard Schneider sings the role of the fickle Osaka, and bass-baritone Douglas Williams portrays the villainous Kyoto. 

Conducted by the “peerlessly adventurous” (New York Times) Leon Botstein, this production by talented young stage director James Darrah features set designs by Emily MacDonald and Cameron Jaye Mock, with projections by Adam Larsen and costumes by Peabody Southwell—all of which combine to highlight the darker themes of this rarely performed opera. 

Performed in Italian with English supertitles. 

Click here to read a new translation of the Iris libretto by Tim Shaindlin.

Special support for this program is provided by Emily H. Fisher and John Alexander. 
Join us for the following special events: 
July 22 Opening Night Reception for Friends of the Fisher Center
July 24 Opera Talk at Noon
Ride the SummerScape Coach from New York City to the Fisher Center on July 22, 24, and 31.
Make a night of it! Enjoy Out-of-Town and Night-Out packages, available for select performances of Iris.
Read Alex Ross's preview of Iris in the New Yorker, "Italianate Ardor, Beyond Puccini."
Watch Talise Trevigne answer five questions from Opera News, including "What was it that drew you to Mascagni's opera and the role of Iris?"
"Some of the most important summer opera experiences in the U.S. are not at the better-known festivals but at Bard SummerScape." –Financial Times