Carl St.Clair, conductor
Eric Einhorn, stage director
Pacific Chorale — Robert Istad, artistic director
Cameron Anderson, scenic designer
Katie Wilson, costume designer
Kathy Pryzgoda, lighting designer
Dani Reynolds, properties coordinator
PUCCINI: Madame Butterfly
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Sung in Italian with English Supertitles
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
There will be one intermission, after Act I.
Puccini’s Madame Butterfly 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.
Cio-Cio-San: Yunah Lee, lyric soprano
B.F. Pinkerton: John Pickle, tenor
Suzuki: Sabina Kim, mezzo soprano
Goro: Joseph Hu, tenor
Sharpless: Luis Ledesma, baritone
Prince Yamadori: Yunpeng Wang, baritone
The Bonze: Hyung Yun, baritone
Cio-Cio-San’s Mother: Jane Shim, mezzo soprano
Kate Pinkerton: Karin Mushegain, mezzo soprano
Yakuside, Cio-Cio-San's Uncle: Aram Barsamian, bass
The Imperial Commissioner: Randall Gremilion, bass
The Official Registrar: Matthew Kellaway, bass
The Aunt: Eleen Hsu-Wentlandt, soprano
The Cousin: Chelsea Chaves, soprano
Cio-Cio-San's Child: Annabella Chou Dolore
Eric Einhorn, stage director
Lauded by the Austin Chronicle as “a rising star in the opera world” and praised by Opera News for his “keen eye for detail and character insight” for which “the result was a seamless, gripping flow,” director Eric Einhorn returns this season to the Florentine Opera to direct Giulio Cesare and Pacific Symphony for Orff’s Carmina Burana, both new productions. He also returns to the Metropolitan Opera to stage La Cenerentola and for the company’s new productions of Prince Igor and Die Fledermaus as well as for The Nose and Tosca. His future engagements include his debut with Portland Opera as well as his return to the Metropolitan Opera. Last season, he made his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago staging Hänsel und Gretel. He also directed a new production of Tosca for Pacific Symphony and returned to the Metropolitan Opera. He received rave reviews for his direction of Gershwin’s Blue Monday with On Site Opera at Harlem’s historic Cotton Club. His recent direction of Dialogues des Carmélites for Austin Lyric Opera was a resounding triumph and was awarded “Best Opera” at the Austin Critics’ Table Awards in addition to garnering him a nomination for “Best Director.”
Lyric Soprano Yunah Lee is thrilling audiences in the U.S., Europe and Asia with her “handsomely colored full lyric sound” (Opera News) and “picture perfect” acting (Berkshire Fine Arts). “Lee deservedly earned the most vociferous ovation of the [Glimmerglass] festival as the audience leapt to their feet as one to roar their approval at her curtain call” (Opera Today). "[Director Francesca Zambello's] ability to get the voices she wanted is abundantly clear, especially with Korean-born lyric soprano Yunah Lee in the title role" (Syracuse New Times). "Lee is one of the world’s leading interpreters of the role. It’s hard to imagine a more nuanced, yet powerful delivery of this music..." (The Salt Lake Tribune)
Tenor John Pickle quickly has established himself as a strong tenor, most recently for his portrayals of Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, a role he débuted with Los Angeles Opera. Of a performance as the jilted hunter with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Kansas City Star raved, “Pickle’s emotionally wrought characterization drove this [performance] even harder home than usual.” In recent seasons, Mr. Pickle also enjoyed performances as Erik with Mobile Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre. This season, Pickle reprises the role of Erik in The Flying Dutchman with Baltimore Concert Opera, and sings Don Jose in Carmen with Opera Louisiane. He also performs as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Dayton Opera.
Joseph Hu is one of America’s leading character tenors, sought after for roles such as Goro in Madama Butterfly, Pang/Pong in Turandot, Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer and Spoletta in Tosca. Of a performance as Goro in San Diego, a critic hailed “Joseph Hu outdid himself as the marriage broker Goro. Cavorting about the stage with grand but obsequious formality, Hu artfully combined the seediest aspects of salesmanship and diplomacy, delivered with vocal confidence and clarity.” Recent engagements include the roles of Basilio and Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro with San Diego Opera, and Pong in Turandot with Tulsa Opera, Vancouver Opera and Atlanta Opera.
Mexican baritone Luis Ledesma has established a reputation as a “rich and well controlled baritone” (Opera News). He frequently portrays the heroes and villains of Puccini, Verdi and the bel canto masters as well as roles in recent new works in Spanish including Florencia en el Amazonas and El pasado nunca se termina. His operatic and concert career has advanced in Europe, the United States and South America and includes theaters such as Teatro alla Scala (Luisa Fernanda), the Liceu in Barcelona (Alphonse in La favorite, Riccardo in I puritani and Marcello in La bohème), Klangbogen Festival in Vienna (Leoncavallo’s La bohème), Wexford Festival (Don Pasquale), Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Escamillo in Carmen), and Semperoper in Dresden (Marcello in La boheme).