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"Madama Butterfly" experiences love and loss

     Mr Lo King-man, renowned as the "Father of Hong Kong Opera", will present his latest production Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" in January next year.

     The three-act opera is a poignant tale of exotic love, betrayal, honour and sacrifice, which delivers a bittersweet experience of love and loss.

     ""Madama Butterfly" is a masterpiece of dramatic development and psychological character-portrayal through music," Lo  said. "Puccini worked meticulously on reflecting every nuance of the words, the motivations, thoughts and feelings of his heroine. He studied Japanese customs and musical themes in depth, not for superficial exotic colouring but with a view to integrating them as essential elements within the total dramatic and musical structure."

     Taking part in the January performances are renowned vocalists Nancy Yuen, Wu Guoling and Yuki Ip as Butterfly; Michael Wade Lee and David Robinson as Pinkerton; Deng Yun, Carol Lin and Chen Xiao as Suzuki; Brian Montgomery as Sharpless. Local conductor Carmen Koon and Hong Kong Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Chorus of the Opera Society of Hong Kong also perform at the opera.

     The story is about a Japanese geisha and an American naval officer. On a terrace above Nagasaki harbour, US Navy Lieutenant B F Pinkerton inspects the house he has leased from a marriage broker, Goro, who has procured him a geisha wife known as Madama Butterfly. For the moment, he is enchanted with the fragile Butterfly and intends to go through a marriage ceremony with her. However, in his mind, he will one day take a "real" American wife. Pinkerton returns to battle. Three years later, Butterfly still waits for her husband's return. One day, she discovers Pinkerton's ship entering the harbour. Delirious with joy, she dons her wedding gown and, with her son, waits for her husband's return. As dawn breaks, Pinkerton and his new wife Kate enter. Butterfly tearfully sobs a farewell to her son, then stabs herself.

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, opera "Madama Butterfly" will be staged at 7.30pm from January 2-4, 2009 (Friday to Sunday); 2.30pm on January 4, 2009 (Sunday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $600, $450, $300 and $120 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens aged 60 or over, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. (Limited tickets for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) For group booking discount, please refer to programme leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations call 2734 9009. Internet bookings are available at For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

     There are pre-performance talks conducted in Cantonese and hosted by Lo King-man. Admission to the talks is free on a first-come, first-served basis, with details as following:

December 13 (Saturday) 3pm
Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Museum of Art
Topic: The Genesis of "Madama Butterfly"

December 20 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Room CR1, 7/F, Back Stage of Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Topic: "Madama Butterfly" and Puccini's Musical Development

December 27 (Saturday) 3pm
Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Museum of Art
Topic: This New Production of "Madama Butterfly"

Ends/Friday, October 31, 2008


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