Giacomo Puccini’s opera ‘Madame Butterfly’ gets a makeover in London with ‘Finding Butterfly’ from cutting-edge opera-makers The Wedding Collective.
‘Finding Butterfly’ has opened at Limehouse Town Hall on 3 October. It is sung by a cast of professional opera singers using Puccini’s original score with words in English and an Italian libretto. The musical direction is by Andrew Charity, who was also musical director for Jonathan Miller’s lavish production of ‘La Bohème’ that beat the English National Opera, the Royal Opera House and the Young Vic to win a prestigious Olivier Award for ‘Best New Opera Production’ in 2011.
The Wedding Collective’s production picks up where Puccini’s original masterpiece ended, tracing Butterfly’s final tragic steps. It features the best-known and loved arias from one of the most iconic works in the opera canon.
Set in 1948 in Nagasaki, Japan ‘Finding Butterfly’ depicts the story of a young man, Navy Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, Jr, who returns home to Japan to find a country ravaged by war and destruction. He searches through the rubble for memories of his mother, a beautiful geisha called Cio-Cio-San but known to the world as ‘Butterfly’. Torn from his Japanese homeland and raised in the United States, Pinkerton is forced to confront his true heritage as well as his father’s monstrous act of betrayal in what promises to be a radical piece of guerilla theatre that re-examines one of the 20th century’s most popular operas.