Opera Australia bids farewell to Madama Butterfly

OA Madama Butterfly 2017 - photo by Jeff Busby AAROpera Australia is bidding a heartfelt farewell to one of the most loved productions in its history, Moffatt Oxenbould’s magnificent Madama Butterfly, with a final two-week season at the Capitol Theatre from 24 October 2017.

Premiering in 1997 this production of Madama Butterfly has been performed more than any other production in Opera Australia’s repertoire. It has been universally praised for its sheer beauty, the gorgeous costumes, evocative sets and Puccini’s magnificent music. They all come together to create a magical production that should not be missed.

“It’ll be terrific to stage this final season of Moffatt’s Madama Butterfly in the Capitol Theatre, which lends itself so well to opera,” says Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini AM. “The elegance of the theatre itself, the sheer scale of the venue, the big pit – we haven’t done an opera at the Capitol in thirteen years, so it’ll be a grand event and fitting farewell to this beautiful production.”

Designed around silk, fire, water and wood, Oxenbould’s legendary production will be conducted by Maestro Brian Castles-Onion, and feature celebrated South Korean soprano Karah Son making her Australian debut as Cio-Cio San. Son will also be joined in the role by Opera Australia soprano Hyeseoung Kwon along with Australia’s favourite tenor, the incredible Diego Torre along with Spanish tenor Andeka Gorrotxategi who will share the role of Pinkerton.

Set in the early 1900’s the story follows The American naval captain, Pinkerton, fascinated by the exotic beauty of the geisha Cio-Cio-San, marries her while visiting Japan. Cio-Cio-San, enthralled by his American ways and promise of a modern life in America, falls wholeheartedly in love with the stranger. But Pinkerton already has a foot out the door, looking forward to the day he will marry “a real wife, a wife from America.”

Years pass, and Cio-Cio-San waits faithfully for her husband’s return. Long abandoned by her family, she is alone with her servant Suzuki and a living memento of her American love. She refuses all offers of marriage, singing of her great hope for the day Pinkerton will return. The faithful Suzuki tries in vain to convince her to abandon hope. But when his ship comes in, Pinkerton is not alone. As dawn breaks, what will become of Butterfly’s great hope?

One of Opera Australia’s most celebrated productions, that features some of the best known arias in the opera world, Madama Butterfly is an unforgettable experience for opera first-timers and lovers alike. The simple lines, great blocks of colour, bold choreography and clever use of screens and water are like an artwork on stage.

Conductor: Brian Castles-Onion Featuring: Karah Son / Hyeseoung Kwon, Diego Torre / Andeka Gorrotxategi, Sian Pendry / Agnes Sarkis, Barry Ryan, Graeme Macfarlane, Gennadi Dubinsky, Sitiveni Talei, Jane Ede, Ryan Sharp, Gregory Brown, Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Original Director: Moffatt Oxenbould Revival Director: Hugh Halliday Assistant Director: Constantine Costi Set & Costume Designers: Peter England / Russell Cohen Lighting Designer: Robert Bryan

Madama Butterfly
Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket (Sydney)
Season: 24 October – 4 November 2017
Information and Bookings: www.opera.org.au

Image: Graeme Macfarlane (Goro) and Hiromi Omura (Cio-Cio-San) in Opera Australia’s production of Madama Butterfly in 2015 – photo by Jeff Busby