Madama Butterfly

Karah-Son-as-Cio-Cio-San-in-Opera-Australia's-2019-production-of-Madama-Butterfly-at-the-Sydney-Opera-House-photo-by-Prudence-UptonAfter receiving four and a half stars from The Sydney Morning Herald for its premiere season that stunned both critics and audiences in 2019, Graeme Murphy’s innovative Madama Butterfly will return to the Sydney Opera House this June.

Murphy’s vision of Butterfly reimagines Puccini’s classic as a futuristic dystopia. Drawing on his roots in choreography and embracing an ultra-modern aesthetic, Murphy and his team have created a visually stunning Butterfly that awakens the senses and propels the audience into the future.

Surprisingly stark but beautiful, the creative dream team of director/choreographers Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon, designer Michael Scott-Mitchell, costume designer Jennifer Irwin and video designer Sean Nieuwenhuis crafted a Butterfly unlike any other production seen in Australia.

Using Opera Australia’s ground-breaking digital technologies, 10 seven metre tall LED screens form a captivating, dynamic, symbolistic backdrop and towering robotic servants with which the singers interact. Striking costume designs draw on a range of eras, from burlesque to cartoons and sci fi.

A “dramatic experiment of production fitting for uncertain times” – The Sydney Morning Herald. “Thoughtful direction created a production of probing insight, compelling drama and intense emotional power…Murphy’s interpretation is dark and confronting. It is an appropriate response to this grim tale of exploitation and betrayal” – The Australian.

South Korean dramatic soprano Sae-Kyung Rim will make her Opera Australia debut in her signature role, having sung Cio-Cio-San in more than 100 performances around the world.

Several Opera Australia favourites will reprise their roles, including tenor Diego Torre as the maligned Pinkerton, whilst Michael Honeyman and Luke Gabbedy will share the role of his powerless voice of reason, Sharpless, along with Sian Sharp as Suzuki, Virgilio Marino as Goro, Jane Ede as Kate Pinkerton whilst David Parkin steps into the role of Bonze.

Internationally renowned conductor Italian Carlo Montanaro will lead Opera Australia’s Chorus and Orchestra through the sublime score. The story which originated from the 1886 French novel Madame Chrysanthème, will cause audiences to weep for Puccini’s alluring heroine as she navigates rapturous love and the cruellest heartbreak.

Conductor: Carlo Montanaro | Director: Graeme Murphy AO | Featuring: Sae-Kyung Rim, Sian Sharp, Diego Torre, Michael Honeyman, Luke Gabbedy, Virgilio Marino, David Parkin, Kiran Rajasingam, Jane Ede, Alexander Hargreaves, Gregory Brown, Opera Australia Chorus, Opera Australia Orchestra | Creative Associate: Janet Vernon AM | Revival Director: Shane Placentino | Production Designer: Michael Scott-Mitchell | Costume Designer: Jennifer Irwin | Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper | Digital Content: Sean Nieuwenhuis

Madama Butterfly
Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Season: 29 June – 30 July 2022
Information and Bookings:

Image: Karah Son as Cio-Cio-San in Opera Australia’s 2019 production of Madama Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House – photo by Prudence Upton