One of the treasures of Opera Australia’s repertoire, and for what is likely to be the last time in Melbourne, Moffatt Oxenbould’s stunning production of Madama Butterfly takes to the stage with the distinction of being Opera Australia’s most successful show ever.
Leading the cast is Japan’s Hiromi Omura in the title role of Cio-Cio-San and Melbourne’s James Eggleston as Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly also features Sian Pendry, Michael Honeyman, Graeme Macfarlane, Katherine Wiles, Jud Arthur, Samuel Dundas, Jonathan McCauley and Dean Bassett, with Orchestra Victoria under the baton of Conductor Guillaume Tourniaire.
With its stunning costuming and set, combining flame, water, silk and wood, Madama Butterfly is truly an artwork on stage. The design has not only toured Australia, but also China, Canada and the USA.
“We created this production as a team collaboration over a period of nearly three years,” says Moffatt Oxenbould, “The two designers Peter England and Russell Cohen were commissioned on the eve of their graduation from NIDA and given studio space within The Opera Centre to create the design.”
“Performers, craftspeople and administrative staff were encouraged to feel an involvement and ownership of the journey from design studio, to workshop, to rehearsal room and eventually to the stage and the audience.”
Featuring some of the best known arias in the opera world, Madama Butterfly is an unforgettable experience for those new to opera and connoisseurs alike. The story follows American naval captain Pinkerton who has come to Japan and finds himself enchanted with a local girl, Cio-Cio-San whom he nicknames Butterfly.
The two marry but Pinkerton must return to the States, leaving a hopeful Butterfly awaiting a reunion. When Pinkerton does return, he does not come alone and finds Butterfly also has news to share.
“During our autumn season, Madama Butterfly will exceed 50 performances in Melbourne which is an incredible achievement for an opera production,” says Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director Opera Australia. “While it is bittersweet to stage this final Victorian season, we’re immensely proud of the work of the Australian creative team and know we’ve assembled a stellar cast that will do Puccini’s work justice.”
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season continues to 30 May 2015
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Hiromi Omura as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly – photo by Jeff Busby