Puccini's Madama Butterfly

Àlex Ollé (stage director), Brian Castles-Onion (conductor) — With Georgy Vasiliev (Pinkerton) and Hiromi Omura (Cio Cio San)

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Àlex Ollé — Stage director

Alfons Flores — Associate set designer

Lluc Castells — Costume designer

Alexander Koppelmann — Lighting

Tony David Cray — Sound engineer

Georgy Vasiliev — Tenor (B.F. Pinkerton)

Hiromi Omura — Soprano (Cio Cio San)

Graeme Macfarlane — Tenor (Goro)

Anna Yun — Mezzo-soprano (Suzuki)

Michael Honeyman — Baritone (Sharpless)

Sitiveni Talei — Baritone (Prince Yamadori)

Celeste Lazarenko — Soprano (Kate Pinkerton)

Gennadi Dubinsky — Bass (The Bonze)

Opera Australia Chorus

Anthony Hunt — Chorus director

Program notes

Discover Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, performed by La Fura dels Baus and Opera Australia! One of the most beloved of all operas, Madama Butterfly recounts the story of Pinkerton, an American real estate developer who comes to Japan for business, and Cio-Cio-San (meaning “Madame Butterfly”), who falls madly in love with this successful American. Returning after three years of absence and now married to another woman, Pinkerton discovers that Cio-Cio-San has a child—and that he is the father. When he is drawn back to his other family, Cio-Cio-San understands that he has abandoned her and chooses to take her own life.

Alex Ollé depicts a faithful account of the love, loss, and sacrifice of Puccini’s grand opus while transposing the action to the present day. Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura plays Cio-Cio-San with great strength and stunning vocals, showing how her role rejects Japanese traditions in an embrace of modernity. Georgy Vasiliev perfectly represents the cruel personification of power and prestige in the role of Pinkerton. To top it all off, the opera is staged at the magnificent Sydney Harbour, a thematically fitting locale—and one more precious than ever in a modern world where beauty is becoming ever scarcer…

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