Local PBS affiliate WETA will be airing an encore presentation of Puccini’s famous opera Madama Butterfly this Sunday, March 29, at 12:00 noon. The Metropolitan Opera’s fall 2019 production is an episode of the Great Performances anthology series.
This staging was created in 2005 by the late film director Anthony Minghella, who won the Best Director Academy Award in 1996 for The English Patient. It has been praised for its thoughtful incorporation of elements of noh theatre and bunraku puppetry.
Chinese soprano Hui He stars in the title role of the 19th century geisha wooed and then deserted by an American naval officer. He later returns with a new bride to attempt to claim his previously abandoned child. Her portrayal of Madame Butterfly was praised by critics as both for the vulnerability given the character and her strong vocal diction.
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Other leading cast members include Sardinian tenor Piero Pretti as Lt. B.F. Pinkerton and Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot at the American consul Sharpless. Broadway musical fans may remember Szot for his performance as Emile De Becque in the 2008 revival of South Pacific (which also starred Kelli O’Hara), for which he won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong stars as Butterfly’s servant Suzuki. Critics praised her lush singing and the dramatic sympathy she brought to the role.
March 29, noon to 2:30pm
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