With poignant melodies, memorable characters and a heart-wrenching story line, Madame Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini, has captivated audiences and dampened handkerchiefs for more than a hundred years. Loosely based on true events in Nagasaki, Japan, the unforgettable Italian opera tells the tale of a naïve Japanese girl, Cio-Cio-San, blinded by her love for a callous American naval officer. Madame Butterfly is the third production of The Dallas Opera’s 60th Season and is a classic period production.
This is The Dallas Opera’s fifteenth free public simulcast. The nationally recognized program has attracted more than 70,000 patrons over the past five years. Performed in Italian with English translations projected above the stage, mainstage performances take place March 10, 12(m), 15, 18, 24 and 26(m), 2017 at the Winspear Opera House.
Lt. B.F. Pinkerton (tenor Gianluca Terranova) rents a wife Cio-Cio-San (soprano Hui He), as well as a house, in a false marriage of convenience. Although he abandons her not long after their wedding, Pinkerton has promised to return. Despite interest from worthy suitors and numerous pleas from her devoted maid Suzuki (mezzo-soprano Manuela Custer) to give up her vigil, the woman nicknamed “Butterfly” remains steadfast (“One Beautiful Day”) during his three-year absence.
This lovely, period production designed by Michael Yeargan (sets) and Anita Yavich (costumes) for San Francisco Opera, will be led by renowned Italian conductor Donato Renzetti.
Regarded as one of the most famous new interpreters of the role, Chinese soprano Hui He, makes her Dallas Opera debut as Cio-Cio-San. “The debut of Hui He in the role of Butterfly was sensational: she has convinced not only with her big voice, her wonderful technique and her marvelous timbre, but also she touched with a deep and emotional interpretation. The best Butterfly that you can wish,” according to the Wiener Zeitung from Austria.
The role of “love ‘em and leave ‘em” Pinkerton will be performed by Italian lyric tenor Gianluca Terranova in his eagerly anticipated company debut. Andrew Alexander of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, recently described the charismatic Italian in another role saying his “youthful, heroic and clear voice perfectly suggests the poetic, dreamy nature of the character…but it can also just as beautifully convey the later anguish and troubled self-awareness that come to the character…”
Internationally acclaimed Italian mezzo-soprano Manuela Custer stars as Suzuki, Butterfly’s confidant and devoted maid. “Vocally, she displayed an impeccable line of singing, with a pleasing and refreshing timbre that contains an ample range of rich colors,” raved Ramon Jacques, Opera Click, of her role as Isabella in our 2009 production of Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers.
American baritone Lucas Meachem stars as Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki. “A natural on stage, he…dazzled the audience with the power and beauty of his voice,” according to Broadway World.
Winner of multiple international awards, conductor Donato Renzetti has achieved much critical acclaim from around the globe. Robert J. Farr of MusicWeb International “The singers do not have to force, particularly when accompanied by a maestro of such experience and sympathy as Donato Renzetti.” George Loomis of The New York Times wrote that the Maestro “conducted a warm, expansive performance,” of a recent production of Tosca (Puccini) for Rome Opera.
DATE: Saturday, March 18, 2017
LOCATION: The Star in Frisco, Texas at North Texas’ newest entertainment district and World Headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys. (One Cowboys Way, Frisco, TX 75034) Madame Butterfly will be simulcast live from the Winspear Opera House.
TIME: Program begins at 6:30 p.m. with KLUV Radio’s Host Jody Dean and The Dallas Opera’s Kristian Roberts, Education Program Senior Manager; Opera performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Activities include Family Fun Zone 4:30-6:30 p.m., Contests, Behind-the-Scenes interviews, Cartoon
FOUNDING SPONSOR: The Dallas Foundation
TICKETS: Free – Register online at www.dallasopera.org/simulcast
MORE INFORMATION: Visit The Dallas Opera website or call 214-443-1000