Four stars of the Metropolitan Opera will headline the Opera Las Vegas fully-staged, live orchestra production of Puccini’s tragic love story Madama Butterfly at Judy Bayley Theatre on the UNLV campus on June 12th and 14th.
Soprano Inna Los, who made her American opera debut in 2011 in the role of the betrayed Butterfly, heads the cast. Her faithless lover/husband Lt. Pinkerton will be sung by tenor Viktor Antipenko. Baritone Daniel Sutin will perform the role of Sharpless, U.S. Consul to Japan. Sutin will be singing his third role with Opera Las Vegas following his Scarpia in Tosca in 2011 and Figaro in Barber of Seville in 2014. Tenor Joseph Gaines will portray the matchmaker, Goro. Two Las Vegans will also sing key roles. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Weiss of the voice faculty of the Music Department at UNLV will appear as Butterfly’s maid, Suzuki; and Brian James Myer, a UNLV Music graduate, will be Prince Yamadori. Myer is a former Opera Las Vegas Young Artist.
Distinguished opera impresarios are orchestrating the opera’s production. Henry Akina, General Director of the Hawaii Opera Theatre, will direct. Gregory Buchalter, a conductor and chorus master at the Metropolitan Opera, who is also Artistic Director of Opera Las Vegas, will lead the orchestra.
Performances are Friday, June 12th, at 7:30 PM and Sunday, June 14th, at 2 PM at Judy Bayley Theatre in the Performing Arts Center at UNLV. Tickets, which are $95, $75, and $55, plus UNLV service charges, may be purchased online through the UNLV Performing Arts Center website (http://www.unlv.edu/event/opera-las-vegas-madama-butterfly-0), or by phoning 702-895-ARTS (2787). Additional information about the performances may be obtained by emailing email@example.com.
OPERA SYNOPSIS: Madama Butterfly, an Italian opera by Giacomo Puccini, is set in 1904 Nagasaki. U.S. Naval officer Lt. Pinkerton is about to marry Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San), a 15-year old Japanese girl. She has converted to Christianity for her husband; but no sooner does the wedding occur, than a family elder curses her and orders the family to disown her. For Pinkerton, the marriage is a diversion while he searches for an appropriate American wife. Pinkerton departs for America where, unbeknownst to Butterfly, he avails himself of Japan’s lax divorce laws, divorces her, and marries an American woman. Butterfly loyally awaits his return for three years, singing the immortal aria, “Un bel di” (One Fine Day). When Butterfly finally sees Pinkerton’s ship in the harbor, she prepares to greet him and to reveal to him that he has fathered a son. However, he arrives with his American wife. Pinkerton’s betrayal overwhelms the distraught Butterfly, and she commits suicide.