Wichita Grand Opera kicks off its 2017-18 season with Puccin's "Madama Butterfly," the move tale sent in turn-of-the-century Japan, telling of an innocent girl falling in love with an American sailor. Their impulsive marriage leads to tragic consequences. Korean soprano Yunnie Park and American tenor Kirk Dougherty star as Butterfly and Lt. Pinkerton. Martin Mazik conducts one of Puccini's most ravishing scores. Buy season tickets or tickets to individual shows. Save up to 20% by purchasing season tickets to all four shows.
Read the show synopsis below:
ACT I. In a garden above Nagasaki, Japan, U.S. Navy Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton inspects the house he has leased from a marriage broker, Goro, who has just procured him a geisha wife, Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly). The American consul, Sharpless, arrives and Pinkerton describes his carefree philosophy of a sailor roaming the world in search of pleasure. He is currently enchanted with Cio-Cio-San, but his 999-year marriage contract contains a convenient cancellation clause. Sharpless warns that the girl is not so casual, but Pinkerton brushes aside his concerns, vowing to marry a "real" American wife one day. Further discussion is interrupted by the arrival of the bride and her relatives. In a quiet moment, Butterfly confides to Pinkerton that she has decided to embrace his Christian faith. Soon the Imperial Commissioner performs the wedding ceremony, but the celebration is interrupted by Cio-Cio-San's uncle, who bursts in cursing the girl for renouncing her ancestors' religion. Pinkerton angrily sends the guests away. Alone with Butterfly in the moonlit garden, he dries her tears, and she joins him in singing of their love.
ACT II. Three years later, Cio-Cio-San waits on the porch of her house for her husband's return. Sharpless arrives with a letter from the lieutenant, but is interrupted when Goro arrives with a suitor, the wealthy Prince Yamadori. The girl insists Pinkerton has not deserted her. When they are alone again, Sharpless starts to read the letter and suggests Pinkerton may not return. Cio-Cio-San proudly carries forth her child, Dolore (Sorrow), saying that as soon as Pinkerton knows he has a son he surely will return. Moved by her devotion, Sharpless leaves without finishing the letter. Cio-Cio-San, on the point of despair, hears a cannon report signaling Pinkerton's ship entering the harbor. Now delirious with joy, she orders Suzuki to help her fill the house with flowers. As night falls, Cio-Cio-San, Suzuki and the child wait for his arrival.
ACT III. At dawn, Suzuki insists that Cio-Cio-San rest. Humming a lullaby, she carries her son to another room. Before long, Sharpless enters with Pinkerton, followed by Kate, his new wife. Suzuki realizes who the American woman is and collapses in despair, but agrees to break the news to her mistress. Pinkerton, seized with remorse, bids farewell to the scene of his former happiness, then rushes away. When Cio-Cio-San returns, she finds only Kate in the room. Guessing the truth, she agrees to give up her child if his father will return for him. Then, sending everyone away, she takes out the dagger with which her father committed suicide, choosing to die with honor rather than live in disgrace. As she raises the blade, Suzuki pushes the child toward her. Sobbing farewell, Cio-Cio-San sends him into the garden to play, then stabs herself. As she dies, Pinkerton is heard calling her name.