This will be a Butterfly for the 21st century – a contemporary styling of the enduring love story about a Japanese geisha abandoned by her American lover.
An enormous full moon, a dynamic moving set and fireworks will light up the night, and Japanese-inspired bars and eateries will create a themed audience experience.
Awash with the grace and beauty of traditional stagings yet updated with contemporary stylings to make connections with the world of today, this will be a Butterfly for a contemporary audience, with costume and set designs that bring to life a modern oriental fantasy, directed by Alex Ollé.
Known as ‘the Butterfly of today’ dazzling Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura (pictured above) will return to Sydney to perform in the title role after great success in the role at Sydney Opera House in 2012. Alternating in the role will be celebrated Korean soprano Hyeseoung Kwon, fresh from her performances in Opera Australia’s Ring Cycle.
International tenors Georgy Vasiliev and Andeka Gorrotxategi make their Australian debuts as they alternate as Pinkerton, the American naval officer who seduces Madama Butterfly.
Michael Honeyman and Barry Ryan alternate as Sharpless, Graeme Macfarlane is Goro and Anna Yun is Suzuki. Brian Castles-Onion returns to conduct the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and the Opera Australia Chorus will bring their ensemble of voices.
This will be the third time Opera Australia has staged opera on their tailor-made, outdoor stage at the end of summer. In its inaugural year, 2012, a giant chandelier sparkled across the harbour to light up La Traviata.
In 2013 the sights and sounds of Spain lit the stage ablaze in Carmen. In 2014 Sydney will swoon to Madama Butterfly atop the lapping water, and beneath the romantic full moon of tragic lovers.
“La Fura Dels Baus are a creative powerhouse and we are thrilled about the spectacular new production they are creating for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Madama Butterfly,” says Opera Australia Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini.
“We have some superb international singers joining us here in Sydney for what has become the cultural event of the year and we are very appreciative of the support of the State Government in helping us deliver this in 2014.”
“We also thank Dr Handa and the International Federation for Arts and Culture for their generous investment in our vision for an opera event like no other.”
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour 2014: Madama Butterfly runs Friday 21 March to Friday 11 April 2014. For more information, visit: www.opera-australia.org.au for details.