Anthony Minghella’s sumptuous production of Madama Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini’s heartbreaking tale of love and betrayal, offers viewers a rare visual treat Sunday, June 28 at noon on Great Performances at the Met.
Minghella, who died unexpectedly in March 2008, marks his debut in opera with the re-staging of Madama Butterfly – this is also the first time in 20 years that a new production has opened at the Met. The New York Times described it as “a gorgeous cinematic spectacle.”
Soprano Patricia Racette stars as Cio-Cio-San, the young geisha who chooses to die honorably, rather than suffer in shame after learning of her husband’s betrayal. Racette returns to the Met stage after her first appearance in the title role drew a wide-range of critical acclaim. “Her singing was robust, nuanced and passionate,” raved The New York Times. “In every dimension, Ms. Racette’s effort was exceptional; hers is a performance not to be missed.” Tenor Marcello Giordani co-stars as Cio-Cio-San’s American husband Pinkerton. The telecast also features mezzo-soprano Maria Zifchak as Cio-Cio-San’s maid Suzuki and baritone Dwayne Croft as Sharpless.
Madama Butterfly, conducted by Patrick Summers, features costumes by Han Feng, with sets by Michael Levine, lighting by Peter Mumford, choreography by Carolyn Choa, and puppetry by the Blind Summit Theater.