St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4ES

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Madam Butterfly

4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating

Until April 17, 2020

Still one of the most beautiful shows in town

The Guardian

Why See Madam Butterfly?

Classical & Opera

Minghella's Olivier Award-winning adaption of Puccini's masterpiece

The late Anthony Minghella left behind him an enduring legacy of work, of which this piece is one of the highlights. Drawing upon his Oscar-winning work in film, this adaptation of Puccini's tragic tale for the English National Opera is cinematic in scope and execution. His only work in this medium, Minghella, in collaboration with designers Han Feng and Michael Levine, compliments the music with brushstrokes of vibrant colour, yet still retains simplicity and delicacy where needed.

The production features masterful puppetry work, stunning set and costume design and faithful nods to Japanese theatre; all of which conjure stirring images reflecting the life and predicament of Butterfly, the geisha whose love life this opera tells the tragic story of. This production has deservedly earned itself the reputation as one of the most beautiful shows one can witness, as well as one of the ENO's most treasured showpieces.

What is Madam Butterfly about?

In Nagasaki, Japan in 1904, Butterfly, a Japanese geisha portrayed by award-winning soprano Natalya Romaniw, is soon to marry Pinkerton, a U.S. naval officer portrayed by American tenor Dimitri Pittas. Pinkerton sees this as a marriage of convenience, while Butterfly is desperately in love. Pinkerton returns to America, leaving Butterfly to care for their child and remain hopeful of his return. The soaring and evocative score outlines Butterfly's lonely and helpless predicament, as the audience hopes and wonders whether Butterfly's estranged lover will return to her.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 26 February 2020

Run time

Two hours and 50 minutes with one interval

Cast and Creative


Butterfly Dina Kuznetsova / Mary Plazas
F.B. Pinkerton Timothy Richards / Gwyn Hughes Jones
Sharpless George von Bergen
Suzuki Pamela Helen Stephen
Goro Alun Rhys-Jenkins
The Bonze Mark Richardson
Prince Yamadori Alexander Robin Baker
Kate Pinkerton Catherine Young


Conductors Gianluca Marciano / Martin Fitzpatrick

Original Director Anthony Minghella

Original Associate Director & Choreographer Carolyn Choa

Revival Director Sarah Tipple

Set Designer Michael Levine

Costume Designer Han Feng

Original Lighting Designer Peter Mumford

Revival Choreographer Anita Griffin

Puppetry Blind Summit

Translator David Parry

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