Venue Details

War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102
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The Star
Soprano Patricia Racette renders an impeccable and effortless performance as the young geisha. Miss Racette was praised for her “dramatically dazzling portrayal” of Cio-Cio-San by the Houston Chronicle. This former Merola artist’s return is not to be missed.

Determined to craft an authentic and vibrant musical landscape, Puccini wove traditional Japanese music into his beloved score. He considered Madama Butterfly to be the most imaginative opera he ever wrote.

Our “thoughtful, historically respectful production” (San Francisco Chronicle) is redolent of Japan in the late 1800s, down to the finest details. The set, attended by shadowy Kabuki-like figures, features elegant sliding shoji screens, which create a smooth, nearly cinematic pace.

While on assignment in Japan, an American naval officer acquires a bride—the geisha Cio-Cio-San, known as Butterfly. She rejects her religion, family and culture for her new husband, Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton, but he soon abandons her and leaves the country. Butterfly waits faithfully for three years for Pinkerton, who returns at last, only to claim the son she bore him, setting Butterfly on a tragic course.

Cio-Cio-San: Patricia Racette
Suzuki: Zheng Cao
B.F. Pinkerton: Franco Farina*
Sharpless: Phillip Joll*

Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Director: Ron Daniels
Designer: Michael Yeargan
Lighting Designer: Stephen Strawbridge
Chorus Director: Ian Robertson
Simulcast Director: Bruce Bryant*

*San Francisco Opera debut
Cast, programs and schedules are subject to change

Approximate running time: 3 hours
Sung in Italian with English Supertitles

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