Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:00 PM
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 2:00 PM
Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Christopher Wilkins, conductor | Robert Swedberg, director | featuring Shu-Ying Li as Cio-Cio San | Brian Jagde as Pinkerton | Thomas Potter as Sharpless | Mika Shigematsu as Suzuki
Butterfly, a beautiful young geisha, sacrifices her family, her religion, and ultimately her life for an American naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton. He takes her as his bride for convenience, with no intention of bringing her home to America. The sweeping emotional power of Puccini’s music is unsurpassed in all of opera.
“Madama Butterfly is pure Puccini …Puccini’s melodic genius spins out one gorgeous tune after another,
a melding of melodic lines to make the spine tingle.“ - Christopher Wilkins
Soprano Shu-Ying Li (Cio-Cio-San) was born in Shandong, China and is the 2008 EMMY winner for Madama Butterfly Live from the New York City Opera. In the space of a few seasons, Ms. Li has become the most sought-after interpreter of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in North America.
Lieutenant Pinkerton is played by the young American singer, Brian Jagde, who, despite his tender age, can already count himself among the most sought-after Puccini tenors in the world. Singing the role of the compassionate American ambassador Sharpless is local hero Thomas Potter, professor of voice at UCF. Butterfly’s maid, Suzuki, is performed by one of the most distinguished of all living interpreters of that sympathetic role, Mika Shigematsu. Cast Bios for Madama Butterfly.
“INSIGHTS” from Christopher Wilkins
Puccini’s melodies are glorious and expansive, yet emotionally specific and precise. His art is versatile enough to convey both Butterfly’s youthful vulnerability and the extraordinary strength of her convictions. As the drama progresses, the prevailing mood turns to anguish, remorse, and profound pain. It is hard to imagine any other composer so perfectly conveying the sentiment behind the inscription on the sword given to Butterfly’s father by the Mikado: “To die with honor when one can no longer live with honor.”
The Philharmonic’s unique “concert stagings” give the audience an exceptional experience, not only because they can watch the music being made by singers and orchestra alike, but also because the actors perform just inches away from the front row. This stage arrangement is especially well suited to a drama like Madama Butterfly, dealing as it does with the private lives and intimate exchanges of the principal characters. Read More
Sponsored by United Arts of Central Florida, the Bryce L. West Charitable Foundation and Darden Restaurants Foundation.
All Programs & Artists subject to change.