Rare event as Butterfly alights in town

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The Madama Butterfly performance at Sun Pictures will be the first Broome performance in 15 years.
Camera IconThe Madama Butterfly performance at Sun Pictures will be the first Broome performance in 15 years. Credit: Supplied

Broome’s Sun Pictures is set to host a very special performance, with Opera Australia’s first venture to the town in 15 years.

Opera Australia will be performing John Bell’s highly acclaimed production of Puccini’s beloved opera Madama Butterfly at Sun Pictures on August 14.

Highly regarded by opera-lovers around the world, Madama Butterfly tells the tragic tale of two lovers separated by culture, oceans and time.

The emotionally riveting production brings together two contrasting worlds through clever set and costume design, and coloured by a well-known score including the famous Humming Chorus and Un bel di Vedremo (One Fine Day).

Opera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini said he was passionate about bringing opera to new audiences of all ages, backgrounds and locations.

“Everyone at Opera Australia is thrilled to have teamed up with our local partners in Broome to present this wonderful production of Madama Butterfly,” he said.

“We have an exceptional cast who will give audiences an opportunity to hear this beautiful music sung in its original Italian — it is a feast for the senses.”

In the production, the role of Cio-Cio-San (the titular Madama Butterfly) will be shared by Eva Kong and Sharon Zhai, while Bradley Daley and Matthew Reardon will share the role of US naval officer Lieutenant Pinkerton.

Zhai and Reardon return to their respective roles after a record-breaking 2018 season.

This year also marks the Opera Australia debut of up-and-coming Chinese-Australian mezzo-soprano Barbara Jin in the role of Suzuki. The production is also set to tour with a chamber orchestra conducted by Paul Fitzsimon, one of Australia’s leading conductors.

Bernard Gerbes, who has partnered with Opera Australia to bring the show to Broome, said he was excited to be involved.

“Broome is certainly privileged to host Opera Australia, an internationally acclaimed company, again this year,” he said. “With its operatic cast, sets, orchestra and lighting, it’s going to be a first-class event the likes of which is rarely seen in town.”

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