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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony Presents First Performance Of Puccini's Opera "Madame Butterfly," Feb. 21, 23 & 26

Orange County, CA — February 06, 2019

Pacific Symphony continues its semi-staged operatic series with Puccini’s poignant opera, “Madame Butterfly,” which tells the story of a young naïve Japanese geisha who believes that her love for a handsome American naval officer is eternal. With its lush score and heartbreaking arias, it is a timeless tale that will stir your emotions. Eric Einhorn is once again the stage director, returning after his masterful work on “Tosca” and “Turnadot.” Longtime artistic partner Pacific Chorale, led by Artistic Director Robert Istad, will join the Symphony on stage again as well, after their last appearance in a Symphony opera with 2018’s “The Magic Flute.” Soprano Yunah Lee will be performing the lead role of Cio-Cio-San, followed by tenor John Pickle’s performance as Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton. Mezzo-soprano Sabina Kim and baritone Luis Ledesma both appear to perform the roles of Suzuki and Sharpless, respectively.

“Madame Butterfly’s” limited run takes place on Feb. 21, 23 & 26. Tickets start at $71. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. for a 7 p.m. preview talk by KUSC host Alan Chapman, for a show beginning at 8 p.m. There will be one intermission after Act I. The 2018-19 Classical series is sponsored by the Hal & Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation. To purchase tickets or learn more, please visit our website at, or call our Box Office at (714) 755-5799.

“Madame Butterfly” is an opera in three acts (originally two) by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is based on the 1898 short story "Madame Butterfly" by John Luther Long, which in turn was based on stories told to Long by his sister Jennie Correll, and on the semi-autobiographical 1887 French novel “Madame Chrysanthème” by Pierre Loti. Long's version was dramatized by David Belasco as the one-act play “Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan,” which after premiering in New York in 1900, moved to London, where Puccini saw it in the summer of that year.



Yunah Lee, soprano – Cio-Cio-San

John Pickle, tenor – B.F. Pinkerton

Sabina Kim, mezzo soprano – Suzuki

Joseph Hu, tenor – Goro

Luis Ledesma, baritone – Sharpless

Yunpeng Wang, baritone – Prince Yamadori

Hyung Yun, baritone – The Bonze

Jane Shim, mezzo soprano – Cio-Cio-San’s Mother

Karin Mushegain, mezzo soprano – Kate Pinkerton

Aram Barsamian, bass – Yakusidé, Cio-Cio-San's Uncle  

Randall Gremilion, bass – The Imperial Commissioner

Matthew Kellaway, bass – The Official Registrar

Eleen Hsu-Wentlandt, soprano – The Aunt

Chelsea Chaves, soprano – The Cousin

Annabella Chou – Cio-Cio-San's Child, Dolore



Artists, programs, prices and dates are subject to change.

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