Royal Opera

Madama Butterfly

In Cinemas 22, 23 & 26 Oct 2022
Nicola Luisotti
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Maria Agresta (Cio-Cio San), Joshua Guerrero (Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton), Carlos Álvarez (Sharpless), Christine Rice (Suzuki), Carlo Bosi (Goro), Dawid Kimberg (Imperial Commissioner), Lee Hickenbottom (Official Registrar), Eryl Royle (Cio-Cio-San's Mother), Andrew O'Connor (Uncle Yakusidé), Amy Catt (Cousin), Elizabeth Weisberg (Aunt), Jeremy White (Bonze), Leo Stokkland-Baker (Dolore), Josef Jeongmeen Ahn (Prince Yamadori), Gabrielè Kupšytè (Kate Pinkerton)
Giacomo Puccini
Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier
Set Design
Christian Fenouillat
3h13 including interval
Sung in Italian, with English subtitles
Captured live from Covent Garden, London, 27 Sep 2022
Official Event Listing
  • Maria Agresta captivates! A sovereign performance by the Italian soprano whose curtain call at the end spoke volumes.
    David Truslove, BACHTRACK
    Glorious. Something wonderful. We will not see a better Butterfly than this one.
    William Hartson, EXPRESS

Opera in three acts (1904)

Set in 19th-century Japan, Puccini's poignant opera tells of a geisha who falls in love with an American soldier – and pays the ultimate price.

‘Love cannot kill: it brings new life’... On a starlit night in Nagasaki, these are the words spoken by US Lieutenant Pinkerton (fast-rising tenor Joshua Guerrero) to young Cio-Cio-San (superb soprano Maria Agresta). But as they both learn, words and promises carelessly spoken can have indelible consequences.

With a score that includes some of the most heartbreaking music its composer ever wrote - from Butterfly's famous aria, 'Un bel dì, vedremo' (‘One fine day’) to the ‘Humming Chorus’ - Puccini’s entrancing, enduring tale remains one of the most popular works in the canon. Nicola Luisotti conducts.

For this revival of Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s exquisite production, The Royal Opera embarked on a year-long consultation, listening to new voices to work towards a staging both true to the spirit of the original and more authentic in its representation of Japan, with discrete but important changes incorporated to several aspects of the existing work, including makeup, wigs and costume, and movement. The production, which was accompanied by an exhibition contextualising the complicated history and context of the piece, opened to acclaim in July 2022.