Madam Butterfly Returns to Albert HallDate: 15 October 1999
Raymond Gubbay's acclaimed production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly returns to London's Royal Albert Hall in February, two years after its triumphant premiere, for 12 performances only. The in-the-round production, translated by Amanda Holden and directed by David Freeman with design by David Roger and lighting by Andrew Bridge, first played at the Hall in February 1998 for 14 sold-out performances. It returns on Thursday 3 February 2000 and continues until 13 February.
The 1998 production was seen by over 60,000 people, many of them first time opera goers, and received both public and critical acclaim. Set entirely in the round, the floor of the Albert Hall will once again be filled with 15,000 gallons of water to create a traditional Japanese water garden.
Sopranos Li Ping Zhang and Nancy Yuen, who starred in 1998, return to share the title role under the musical direction of Peter Robinson conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra. Ping Zhang was discovered by Placido Domingo in her native China. She has sung leading roles in La Traviata and Turandot. Yuen made her opera debut as Madam Butterfly with Welsh National Opera. She has also had leading roles in Rigoletto, Aida and Le Nozze di Figaro. Pinkerton will be sung by Richard Roberts and Alan Oke.
This is the eighth collaboration in the presentation of opera and ballet by Raymond Gubbay with the Albert Hall. Last November, the entire creative team of Madam Butterfly returned with another Puccini opera, Tosca, for eight sell-out performances.