Premiered at Milan’s La Scala opera house in 1904, Puccini’s tale of love, hope and loss quickly became a favourite of opera-lovers worldwide. Today, Madama Butterfly tops Opera America’s list of the 20 most performed operas in North America.
"Madama Butterfly is a very touching story," comments Maestro Timothy Vernon, artistic director of both Orchestra London and Pacific Opera Victoria. "It is one of Puccini’s most romantic compositions. It really embodies his fantastic ability to create the atmosphere of the story through music."
Madama Butterfly follows the heartbreaking tale of Cio-Cio-San who abandons her religion, her culture and her very sense of self for the love of a young American Naval officer stationed in Japan. When he returns to the States, she awaits his return, believing with steely resolve that she, her husband and their child will be reunited one day.
This collaborative production between POV and Orchestra London takes a unique look at the celebrated classic. "This won’t be the most traditional Butterfly, but it will be a beautiful, poetic production," Vernon says. "There will be no mistaking the place and the situation, but I think it will have a slightly more dreamlike surround."
The leading role of Cio-Cio-San will be played by Canadian soprano Sally Dibblee. "This is her debut in the role of Butterfly," says Orchestra London’s executive director, Rob Gloor. "She’s coming into the peak of her career and moving into this new realm of romantic repertoire."
Lieutenant Pinkerton will be played by tenor Kurt Lehmann, with Bruce Kelly as Sharpless and Mia Lennox-Williams as Suzuki. The production marks the return of director François Racine, who London audiences will remember from Orchestra London’s 2005 production of Puccini’s Tosca.
This year’s production of Madama Butterfly marks an important milestone for Orchestra London’s Grand Opera project. The orchestra’s board recently agreed to incorporate opera into Orchestra London’s three year strategic plan, making it a regular part of the annual season. "I’m delighted about the board’s energy in committing to this opera project," Vernon says. "I think it is one of Orchestra London’s most important contributions to demonstrate the appetite in town for this sort of cultural event."
Creative Team and Cast
Timothy Vernon, Conductor
François Racine, Director
Elli Bunton, Set and Costume Designer
Gerald King, Lighting Designer
Sally Dibblee, Cio-Cio-San
Kurt Lehmann, Lieutenant Pinkerton
Bruce Kelly, Sharpless
Mia Lennox-Williams, Suzuki
Peter McGillivray, Yamadori
Chad Louwerse, The Bonze
Eric Olsen, Goro
Stacie Carmona, Kate Pinkerton
Friday, May 30, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 1, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 5, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 7, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Click here to view seating map.
AA Seating: $129
A Seating: $99
B Seating: $89
C Seating: $69
D Seating: $49