Release date: 6/9/2014

San Francisco Opera Presents Giacomo Puccini's
Madama Butterfly June 15-July 9, War Memorial Opera House

Starring Patricia Racette, Brian Jagde, Elizabeth DeShong and Brian Mulligan

Production by Jun Kaneko

Photos Available
San Francisco Opera presents Madama Butterfly, June 15 through July 9, 2014 at the War Memorial Opera House. Puccini’s beautiful, tragic love story reunites soprano Patricia Racette and tenor Brian Jagde, who co-starred in the Company’s Fall 2012 production of Puccini’s Tosca, as the geisha Cio-Cio-San and Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton. The eight performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti and Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi.
American soprano Patricia Racette has championed the title role of Madama Butterfly around the world with opera companies such as Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Munich’s Bavarian State Opera and Opera Australia. Of her performance as Cio-Cio-San at the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Times wrote: “Her singing was robust, nuanced and passionate, befitting a performer of her skill and experience. . . In every dimension Ms. Racette’s effort was exceptional; hers is a performance not to be missed.” This season marks Racette’s twenty-fourth performing with San Francisco Opera; this summer she also appears as Julie La Verne in the Company premiere of Show Boat.
American tenor Brian Jagde stars opposite Racette as Cio-Cio-San’s love, the American naval lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton. The Washington Times wrote of his Pinkerton: “Brian Jagde was forceful, decisive, and powerful as Butterfly’s anti-hero.” Jagde returns to San Francisco Opera in October 2014 to reprise the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca and he will make his debut at Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Pinkerton in 2015.
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong is Butterfly’s maid and confidante Suzuki, and Brian Mulligan is the American Consul Sharpless. The New York Times reviewed her performance at the Metropolitan Opera, saying: “The mezzo Elizabeth DeShong was outstanding as Butterfly’s servant Suzuki. With her deeply resonant low register, she created a character who is tragically prescient about the unfolding disaster.” Brian Mulligan was also praised for his recent performance by the Times, London as being “an outstanding Sharpless.”
Following the great success of Jun Kaneko’s new production of The Magic Flute for San Francisco Opera in 2012, San Francisco Opera presents Kaneko’s highly acclaimed bold, colorful production and costume designs. Leslie Swackhamer directs this new-to-San Francisco production, making her Company debut. Reflecting on performances of this production in Vancouver, the Globe and Mail wrote: “A Butterfly that soars in style. . . the visual component of this production is so compelling, and so intelligent, that it lifts this opera to a new level.” Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts, with Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi leading the final two performances.
Patricia Racette will be signing copies of her live CD Diva on Detour at the San Francisco Opera Shop on the South Mezzanine level immediately following the Sunday, July 6 matinee performance of Madama Butterfly
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the eight performances of Madama Butterfly are scheduled for June 15 (2:00 p.m.), June 18 (7:30 p.m.), June 21 (8 p.m.), June 24 (8 p.m.), June 27 (8 p.m.), July 3 (7:30 p.m.), July 6 (2 p.m.) and July 9 (7:30 p.m).