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Friday, February 10, 2017 - Saturday, April 29, 2017

Joachim Herz’s Madam Butterfly has been with us for over three decades and with good reason. It’s a classic, traditional staging of this much-loved opera. While being completely faithful to the composer’s intentions it also critiques imperialism to powerful effect. Each scene looks like a sepia photograph through which we glimpse a vanished world. 

A young Japanese woman, Cio-Cio- San (Madam Butterfly), has agreed to an arranged marriage with Lieutenant Pinkerton of the United States Navy. She takes the marriage seriously and falls in love, while he sees it simply as an amusing diversion during his posting to Japan. Leaving his bride behind him, Pinkerton is gone for three years, during which Cio-Cio-San is reduced to penury and gives birth to his child. Sharpless, the American consul, breaks the news to her that Pinkerton has returned, but with a new, American wife. When they hear about the child, Pinkerton and Kate decide that they should adopt him. In despair, knowing that they will be able to look after him better than she can, Butterfly takes a last farewell of her son and kills herself.

Additional performances at Birmingham Hippodrome on 27, 29 & 30 June 2017.

  • Performances start at 7.15pm, except at Wales Millennium Centre on 12 Feb at 4pm
  • Running time approximately two hours and 45 minutes including one interval
  • Sung in Italian with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno)

We will be performing Madam Butterfly at Dubai Opera House from 2-4 March as part of UK/UAE 2017.


Supported by WNO Friends

For details on production dates, times and pricing please click on your chosen venue on the right.


Cast & CreativeBack to top

Conductor Lawrence Foster (until 4 Mar)
Andrew Greenwood (from 24 Mar)
Joachim Herz
Revival Director
Sarah Crisp
Reinhart Zimmermann
Costume Designer
Eleonora Kleiber
Chorus Master
Stephen Harris
Original Lighting Designer
John Waterhouse
Musical Preparation
Stephen Wood, Russell Moreton
Staff Director
Christopher Moon-Little
Language Coach
Paula Quaglia
Production Manager
Robert Pagett
Stage Manager
Julia Carson Sims
Deputy Stage Manager
Sava Bell

Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton Jonathan Burton (10, 12, 18 Feb; 2, 4, 24, 31 Mar; 6, 8 Apr)
Paul Charles Clarke (17 Feb; 3, 25 Mar; 1, 20, 22, 27, 29 Apr; 27, 29, 30 Jun)
Goro marriage broker Simon Crosby Buttle
Suzuki a servant Rebecca Afonwy-Jones
Sharpless the American consul David Kempster
Cio-Cio-San (Madam Butterfly) Karah Son (10, 12, 18 Feb; 2, 4, 24, 31 Mar; 20, 22, 27, 29 Apr)
Linda Richardson (17 Feb; 3, 25 Mar; 1, 6, 8 Apr; 27, 29 Jun)
Judith Howarth (30 Jun)
Her Cousin Meriel Andrew
Her Mother Monika Sawa
Her Aunt Carolyn Jackson
Yakuside her uncle George Newton-Fitzgerald (ex. 2 – 4 Mar)
Julian Boyce (2 – 4 Mar)
The Imperial Commissioner Martin Lloyd
The Official Registrar Jack O’Kelly
The Bonze Richard Wiegold (ex. 27 & 29 Apr)
Jihoon Kim (27 & 29 Apr)
Prince Yamadori Alastair Moore
Kate Pinkerton Sian Meinir
Trouble Cio-Cio-San’s child Leo Adams & Haydn Lockwood
Cousin's Child Joshua Barnfield & Andre Dacruz
Servant & Cook David Tilley & Derek Tilley
Geishas, relations, monks, servants, sailors WNO Chorus

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