Opera Philadelphia

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Madame Butterfly

Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Performed in Italian with English supertitles

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this opera was postponed.  

The famous tragedy of the young geisha Cio-Cio San and the American naval officer who pursues, then betrays, her comes alive with a fresh viewpoint for today’s audiences. Experience Puccini’s beloved masterpiece from Cio-Cio San’s perspective as she transforms from an object of lust into a fully realized woman, wife, and mother. Grounded in the original historical setting of the mid-19th century, the achingly beautiful music soars above a modern-day commentary on power dynamics and western exploitation. Opera News calls the production “proof that a ‘traditional’ approach need not lack excitement, credibility and passion.”

Soprano Eri Nakamura, “a wonderfully characterful singer” (Gramophone) makes her company and role debut as Cio-Cio San, and Bryan Hymel (2012’s La bohème) returns to Opera Philadelphia in the role of Lt. Pinkerton. 

Both making company debuts, baritone Anthony Clark Evans is a "warm-toned, vivacious and humane" Sharpless (San Francisco Chronicle), and mezzo Kristen Choi reprises her “warm and lovely Suzuki” (Washington Post). “Outstanding” tenor Julius Ahn (Opera magazine), last seen in Opera Philadelphia’s Turandot, revisits Goro, his signature role; Wei Wu, a top prize-winner in the Taiwan Vocal Competition, portrays Bonze; and “promising lyric baritone” Takaoki Onishi (Opera News) takes on the role of Prince Yamadori.

MapAcademy of Music

Dates are Apr. - May 2020.

Fri, Apr 24 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Apr 26 2:00 p.m.
Wed, Apr 29 7:00 p.m.
Fri, May 1 8:00 p.m.
Sun, May 3 2:00 p.m.

The running time is approximately 2 hours and 32 minutes including one 20-minute intermission.

Production of Opernhaus Zürich

The Academy Series is underwritten, in part, by Judy and Peter Leone.

Cast & Creative Team

Corrado Rovaris
Corrado RovarisConductor
Ted Huffman
Ted HuffmanDirector
Sonoko Kamimura-Ostern
Sonoko Kamimura-Ostern * Associate Director & Movement Specialist
Eri Nakamura
Eri Nakamura *as Cio-Cio San
Bryan Hymel
Bryan Hymelas Lt. Pinkerton
Anthony Clark Evans
Anthony Clark Evans *as Sharpless
Kristen Choi
Kristen Choi *as Suzuki
Julius Ahn
Julius Ahnas Goro
Wei Wu
Wei Wu *as the Bonze
Takaoki Onishi
Takaoki Onishi *as Prince Yamadori
Ethan Vincent
Ethan Vincent *as the Imperial Commissioner
Kendra Broom
Kendra Broomas Kate Pinkerton
John David Miles
John David Milesas the Registrar
Cory O'Niell Walker
Cory O'Niell Walker *as Yakuside
Veronica Chapman-Smith
Veronica Chapman-Smithas the Cousin
Lauren Cook
Lauren Cook *as the Mother
 Joanna Gates
Joanna Gatesas the Aunt
  • Michael Levine Set Design
  • Annemarie Woods * Costume Design
  • Franck Evin * Lighting Design
  • Hans Rudolf Kunz * Revival Lighting Designer
  • Elizabeth Braden Chorus Master
  • Lisa Anderson Stage Manager
  • Gregory Boyle Assistant Director
  • Jennifer Shaw Assistant Stage Manager
  • Savannah Valigura Assistant Stage Manager
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
Giacomo Puccini

The Composer

Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini was born on December 22, 1858, in Lucca, Italy, where since the 1730s his family had been tightly interwoven with the musical life of the city, providing five generations of organists and composers to the Cathedral of San Martino, Lucca’s religious heart. It was therefore taken for granted that Giacomo would carry on this legacy, succeeding his father, Michele, in the role first held by his great-great grandfather. Read more

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