Opera Australia announces international tour with much loved production of Madama Butterfly

Opera Australia China Madama ButterflyMoffatt Oxenbould’s celebrated production of Madama Butterfly will come out of retirement this October for Opera Australia’s inaugural tour of China.

Presented by Opera Australia in partnership with XDR Cultural Promotions and Poly Theatre Management Co. Ltd, Oxenbould’s much loved production of Puccini’s opera will return to the stage once more for a tour consisting of eight performances across four Chinese cities: Tianjin, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

Having previously toured productions to Taipei, Tokyo and Edinburgh, the upcoming China visit will be Opera Australia’s first multi-city international tour.

“Madama Butterfly is one of the world’s most popular operas and we’re thrilled to be taking this celebrated production abroad,” said Rory Jeffes, Opera Australia CEO. “In recent years we have included Simplified Chinese surtitles for a number of performances in Australia in order to make our operas more accessible for visiting audiences.

“It’s a joy, on this occasion, to go one step further and take a production directly to audiences across China. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the calibre of productions and talent Opera Australia has to offer.”

Having said farewell to Australian audiences last year, Oxenbould’s production has been brought out of retirement for this overseas tour. Its revival will be staged under the guidance of director Andy Morton, who made his Opera Australia directing debut, to great acclaim, with La Bohème at this year’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

A stellar and seasoned cast will bring this production to life. Enchanting soprano Hyeseoung Kwon will assume the role of Cio-Cio-San, also known as Madama Butterfly, with mezzo Agnes Sarkis as Suzuki.

They will be joined onstage by a host of Australian talent including Paul O’Neill in the role of Pinkerton, Barry Ryan, Graeme Macfarlane, Steven Gallop and Simon Meadows, all performing alongside the China National Opera House Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Muhai Tang.

Regarded as the world’s most popular opera and the inspiration for the musical Miss Saigon, Madama Butterfly tells the tale of two lovers, separated between culture, oceans and time. The vibrant visual display of the production is coloured further by Puccini’s magnificent score, including the famous Humming Chorus and the heartbreaking One Fine Day.

Conductor: Muhai Tang Director: Moffatt Oxenbould Revival Director: Andy Morton Movement Coordinator: Andrew Frith Featuring: Hyeseoung Kwon, Paul O’Neill, Agnes Sarkis, Barry Ryan, Graeme Macfarlane, Steven Gallop, Simon Meadows, Kristen Leich, Michael Lapina, Sharon Zhai, Matthew Reardon, Rachael Cunningham

Madama Butterfly will be presented at the Tianjin Grand Theatre (4 & 5 October); Qingdao Grand Theatre (11 & 12 October); Shenzhen Poly Theatre (19 & 20 October); and the Zhuhai Grand Theatre (25 & 26 October). Ticketing information for each performance will be released in the coming months. The production will be sung in Italian with Mandarin surtitles.

Image: courtesy of Opera Australia