Releasing on Saturday, April 23 at Cinema Nouveau theatres is the next opera in the Metropolitan Opera’s current season, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Anthony Minghella’s breathtaking production has thrilled audiences since its premiere in 2006. Kristine Opolais plays the title role with Roberto Alagna as Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly’s heart.
The title character of Madama Butterfly — a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage — is one of the defining roles in opera.
The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway and popular culture in general have played endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.
One of the most acclaimed Butterflies of recent years, Kristine Opolais, reprises the role of Butterfly that she last sang at the Met in 2014. Roberto Alagna reprises the role of Pinkerton opposite Opolais, also his co-star in the Met’s recent production of Manon Lescaut. Dwayne Croft reprises the role of Sharpless with Maria Zifchak as Suzuki.
Karel Mark Chichon makes his Met debut conducting the performances of Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production. Chichon has been Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie since 2011. He has previously conducted for many opera companies around the world including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Gran Teatre del Liceu. Later this year, he will conduct Tosca at the Bavarian State Opera.
The performance on April 2 was filmed for broadcast to cinemas around the world, including here in South Africa.
The special intermission features during Madama Butterfly, hosted by Deborah Voigt, include:
- backstage interviews with the stars of Madama Butterfly, Kristine Opolais and Roberto Alagna, in their second back-to-back live transmission around the world;
- live interviews with the principal cast of the Met’s acclaimed new production of Roberto Devereux, the final opera in Donizetti’s “Tudor queens” trilogy, which will be screened at Cinema Nouveau theatres from Satursday, May 7;
- a montage of great scenic moments celebrating the 10th anniversary of Live in HD, and an interview with Scenic Artist Doug Lebrecht
These grand operas, filmed at the iconic Metropolitan Opera House, feature some of the world’s most talented singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers and dancers.
With these exclusive productions, Cinema Nouveau continues to give local audiences the opportunity to witness these spectacular ‘live’ broadcasts on the big screen, in full digital projection, at various of their cinemas across South Africa.
The Met was the first arts company to experiment as an alternative content provider, starting on a modest scale in 2006. Since then, its programme has grown every season with more than 19 million tickets sold to date, and its tenth anniversary season being celebrated this year.
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global corporate sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg.
Madama Butterfly can be seen at Gateway Nouveau in Durban; V&A Waterfront Nouveau in Cape Town; Ster-Kinekor Somerset Mall in Somerset West and Garden Route Mall in George; Rosebank Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor Bedford Centre in Johannesburg; and at Brooklyn Nouveau in Pretoria.
The running time is approximately three hours and 20 minutes, including two intervals. The local screening dates and times are as follows: 5 pm on April 23 and May 3 and 5, 2.30 pm on April 24 and at 11.30 am on April 26 and May 4.
For booking information on The Met: Live in HD season, visit http://www.cinemanouveau.co.za or http://www.sterkinekor.com. Download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smart phone for updates, news and to make bookings. Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For information, call Ticketline on 0861-Movies (668 437).