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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.
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.
Opening night: 26 February 2020
Two hours and 50 minutes with one interval
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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