"Madama Butterfly" Coming to The San Diego Opera

Only Four Nights to See "Madama Butterfly" in San Diego

Madama Butterfly

Photos by Opéra de Montréal

Experience first-hand the ups and downs of love and betrayal as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly comes into town. Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly will be making its way to the stage through the San Diego Opera

Revolving around devotion and betrayal, the plot of the opera surrounds the twisted life of Cio-Cio San, a young woman who becomes a traditional geisha amidst her father’s suicide. However, things begin to look up for the girl, who is referred to as “Butterfly”, when she falls madly in love with a visiting American Naval officer named Pinkerton. Although she believes the two are married, Pinkerton chooses to leave and travel back to America, promising his return and leaving her pregnant. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when Pinkerton finally travels back to Butterfly with his new American wife in tow. The geisha’s dreams are shattered when she comes to realize that her child is all the officer came back for, and that their marriage was a sham. 

Giacomo Puccini is a widely known composer, even referred to as being one of the best Italian opera composers. His verismo style of composing brings a strong sense of realism into his works, which one can see through the dark themes of Madama Butterfly. In fact, when it first premiered in 1904, the opera was poorly received and ultimately unsuccessful. It wasn't until 1907, with the aid of numerous revisions, that Madama Butterfly became the critical darling it is today.

Playing the lead, Butterfly, is Latonia Moore, who recently was in the 2013 production of Aida. She has traveled globally for her various opera roles, and she has performed as Cio-Cio San in previous productions of Madama Butterfly.

Teodor Ilincâi will play Pinkerton, the young geisha’s love interest. It is the actor’s San Diego Opera debut, but he is not a stranger to the stage. Ilincâi has been performing on international stages for years. He was even a main singer at the Bucharest National Opera.

Other supporting actors and actresses come from similarly prestigious backgrounds, gaining roles and recognition. It should be an immense privilege to have the chance to see all of the excellent performers interact with one another on the big stage, come April.

Garnett Bruce, who is somewhat of a veteran to the company’s productions, will direct this production. He is matched with Yves Abel, who will be serving as the conductor of the opera. This will be Abel’s third San Diego Opera appearance. You won’t want to miss Madama Butterfly at the San Diego Opera in the Civic Theatre from April 16th-24th. There are only four total shows, so don't miss out!

True to Puccini’s native tongue, the performances will each be done in Italian along with English subtitles. Each performance is roughly two hours and 45 minutes with an intermission. More information can be sought at San Diego Opera.