Described by many as one of the most moving works ever produced for the stage, Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is an opera of love and heartbreak. Since premiering at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala in 1904, it has become one of the most popular and most performed operas of the 20th century and this month the Kuala Lumpur City Opera (KLCO) stages it for the first time on Malaysian soil.
The story whisks the audience to 1904 Japan where US Naval officer, B. F. Pinkerton is stationed. He marries 15 year-old Japanese girl Cio Cio San (Japanese for ‘butterfly’) out of convenience, and shortly after returns to America. Fast forward three years and Cio Cio San has had his child while waiting for him to return when finally she hears news from the American consul that he is about to arrive.
What she doesn’t know is that Pinkerton has his new American wife in tow and that they have plans to raise the child. Broken-hearted and hopeless, Cio Cio San resorts to drastic measures to drive home a point.
KLCO’s production of Madama Butterfly will feature a double cast for the leading roles of Cio Cio San and B.F. Pinkerton, including sopranos Cecelia Yap and Evelyn Toh taking on the former role and Solomon Chong and Yap Jin Hin the latter. Meanwhile, Colombian conductor Juan Montoya will lead the 23-strong orchestra ensemble and award-winning stage director, actor and lighting designer, Amelia Tan takes care of the rest.
As the only active opera company in the country presenting and promoting western operas, the KLCO have been responsible for delivering iconic works including Puccini’s La Bohème, Bizet’s Carmen, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and Mozart’s tour de force The Marriage of Figaro earlier this year.
Prepare to have your heart strings tugged at this month when Puccini’s masterpiece is brought to compelling life at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.
WHERE Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 8pm (22-25 Nov)
ADMISSION RM108, RM128, RM148
TEL 03 4047 9000