Thursday, 2 October 2014

MADAM BUTTERFLY to return to the Royal Albert Hall

MADAM BUTTERFLY, Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece of doomed love and tragic passion, will play a limited run at the Royal Albert Hall, beginning on 26 February 2015. David Freeman will direct, reviving his Japanese water garden production, designed by David Roger.

The opera will be sung in English, using the acclaimed translation by Amanda Holden. The cast will be accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Oliver Gooch.

The role of the young Japanese bride, Cio Cio San will be shared by Nam-Young KimHyeseoung Kwon and Myung-Joo Lee, opposite Jeffrey GwaltneyJames Edwards and Mario Sofroniou in the role of American naval lieutenant, Pinkerton.  Sabina Kim, Catherine Hopper and Marcia Bellamy, and will play Suzuki, with David Kempster, Wyn Pencarreg and James Cleverton as Sharpless. 

The role of The Bonze will be played by Michael Druiett.  Julius Ahn will play Goro with Seungwook Seong as Yamadori,Lise Christensen as Kate Pinkerton, Freddie Tong as Imperial Commissioner and Richard Suart as the Registrar.

No opera can match the tragedy and sorrow of MADAM BUTTERFLY.  Set in Japan at the turn of the century, this tale of the doomed loved of an American naval lieutenant and his young Japanese bride inspired Puccini to write some of his most sublime and beautiful music. 

From the magnificent love duet which closes the first act to Butterfly’s celebrated solo One Fine Day, Puccini’s ravishing score skilfully weaves together the differences in attitudes and styles of East and West.  The production follows the unfolding action where passion and hope collide with despair and ultimate tragedy. 

Staged in-the-round, this production transforms the iconic Royal Albert Hall into Japan in 1907.  Once more the floor of the Royal Albert Hall will be flooded to create David Roger’s stunning design where Madam Butterfly’s house is perched on stilts above the shimmering surface of a traditional Japanese water garden.

David Freeman is an internationally recognised director of opera and theatre.  He founded the Opera Factory in London in 1981, under the auspices of ENO, which was the resident company at the South Bank Centre.  Recent engagements include Gaddafi (English National Opera), Wozzeck (La Monnaie), Vivaldi’s La Verita in Cimento and L’Incoronazione di Dario (Garsington Opera), Serse  (Iford Festival Opera), the world premiere of Cyrano er Roxanne, with text by Jean-Claude Carriere and music by Stavros Xaharkos, as a French-Greek co-production in Athens and Compiegne, and Carmen(O2 Arena, London). He also directed the Bollywood musical Zangoora: The Gypsy Prince.

A designer for opera, theatre, dance, film and television, David Roger has mounted productions in opera houses worldwide.  David founded the Opera Factory with David Freeman and together they have worked on Madam Butterfly, Aida and Tosca for Raymond Gubbay. In 2012 David won the BAFTA for Production Design for his work on Great Expectations (BBC), his other TV credits include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Persuasion and Vera

Oliver Gooch, musical director, is a graduate of the Royal Opera House’s prestigious Young Artist programme and has collaborated with opera companies in North America, Europe and Australia.  He made his USA debut in 2008 with Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liasons (Dicapo Opera) and his Italian debut was in 2010 with Don Giovanni (AsLico).  His Australian debut followed in 2013 with Royal Opera House in Tasmania.  He was recently nominated for a South Bank Award forHeart of Darkness (Royal Opera House).  For Raymond Gubbay, Oliver is Musical Director of Madam Butterfly and La Bohème (Royal Albert Hall).
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