An exquisite new production of Puccini’s legendary opera Madama Butterfly lands in Australia at Adelaide’s Festival Theatre from 14 November until 23 November 2019.
Presented by State Opera South Australia, this epic romantic tragedy is one of opera’s most beloved and timeless tales, brought to vivid life by Director Kate Cherry and Designer Christina Smith.
Puccini’s powerhouse score, full of exquisite soaring melodies, and utter devastation, is in the hands of Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg (making his Australian debut), and a stunning cast assembled from around Australia.
Mariana Hong (formerly known as Hyeseoung Kwon) is a Korean-Australian soprano whose name has become synonymous with Puccini heroines. She plays Cio-Cio-San, the beautiful, naïve young geisha, whose summer romance with a US Naval officer changes the course of her life forever.
Set in a turn of the 20th Century Japan, as the country opened its trade doors to the West; this story of two young lovers, and two radically different cultures, is a moving portrayal of personal honour in the face of abandonment and greed.
Originally conceived of by Cherry, who grew up in Adelaide, the production uses the exquisite aesthetic of traditional Japanese design as its backdrop, bathed in cherry blossom hues and summer breezes.
“The colours and sensuality of the costumes and fabrics, and the richness of textures, are just stunning,” says Cherry.
Cherry said she was thrilled to bring this new production of Madama Butterfly to Australia for the very first time, and was excited to work alongside conductor Tobias Ringborg once again.
“I first created this version of Madama Butterfly for New Zealand Opera and Seattle Opera, and I’m very proud of it,” she said. “Tobias conducted the New Zealand season, and he is just brilliant. He’s very energetic and a passionate expert in Puccini.”
Madama Butterfly is loved for its heartache and beauty in equal measure and features the immensely popular aria Un bel di (One Fine Day) and the Humming Chorus, as well as some of Puccini’s finest ensembles.
Ringborg will conduct the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and State Opera Chorus alongside a cast of fine singers including Hong, Angus Wood (as Pinkerton) and Douglas McNicol (as Sharpless)
“Madama Butterfly is an important and devastating story, highlighting how easy it was for foreigners to be careless and not take on board the beauty and culture around them,” Cherry said.
State Opera will stage Puccini’s dramatic masterpiece Madama Butterfly and Gilbert and Sullivan’s most famous operetta The Mikado at Adelaide’s Festival Theatre this November.
Madama Butterfly will run between Thursday 14 November and Saturday 23 November 2019. Tickets on sale now.
Make sure you don’t miss Madama Butterfly:
14 November 2019 7.30pm
16 November 2019 1.00pm
19 November 2019 7.30pm
21 November 2019 7.30pm
23 November 2019 7.30pm
Location: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William St, Adelaide SA 5000
Ticket Costs: Premium: $180; A Reserve: $150; B Reserve: $110; C Reserve: $70
For more information: https://stateopera.com.au/performances/madama-butterfly
Photos: from the Seattle Opera production – Image credit: Jacob Lucas