The Pirates of Penzance, 2017. Photo by Cory Weaver.

Madama Butterfly

Saturday, November 3, 2018 | 7:30 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 | 7:30 PM
Friday, November 9, 2018 | 7:30 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2018 | 2:00 PM

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Composer: Giacomo Puccini | Librettists: Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa
Conductor: Ryan McAdams | Director: Ron Daniels

Approximate running time of 2 hours, 50 minutes with 1 intermission.

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He loves her… Not.

Young love falls for an old lie, and so begins what may be the greatest argument against long distance relationships ever made. Puccini pours melodic perfection (and keeps ’em coming) as “the happiest girl in Japan” eagerly marries a swaggering, shallow U.S. Navy man who embodies the phrase “love is fleeting.”

Wrapped in rapturous musical beauty that will bring you to tears is a heartbreaking ending that will bring you to your knees. We can only watch as Butterfly floats toward her fate, like a moth to a flame, like a lamb to the slaughter. ‘Til death do them part.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles. 


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Photo Gallery

  • Madama Butterfly. Photo by Karen Almond, Courtesy of The Dallas Opera.
    Madama Butterfly. Photo by Karen Almond, Courtesy of The Dallas Opera.


Cio Cio San – Karah Son * Karah Son
Karah Son debuts with Lyric Opera of Kansas City in Madama Butterfly. Son made per professional debut as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro at the National Theater in Seoul; she has since performed Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Teatro San Lorenzo in Milan; Mimì in La bohème at Teatro Cristallo in Bergamo and at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari; Liù in Turandot at Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, and other theaters. She has performed the role of Cio-Cio San at Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as in Leipzig, Warsaw, Turin, Seoul, and Sydney; she also recently performed a series of concerts at Gewandhaus in Leipzig. Son’s upcoming season includes more engagements as Cio-Cio San at Glyndebourne Festival, Stuttgart, and Helsinki. Son graduated with a degree in Voice at Yonsei University in her native Seoul, and completed her musical education at the Vivaldi Music Conservatory and the Academy of Teatro alla Scala Milan, studying with Mirella Freni.

Lt. Pinkerton – Georgy Vasiliev *Georgy Vasiliev
Georgy Vasiliev debuts with the Lyric in Madama Butterfly. Originally trained as a choral conductor in Moscow, his repertoire includes Rodolfo in La bohème, the Duke in Rigoletto, Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, the title role in Faust, Alfredo in La traviata, Vladimir in Prince Igor, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and Vaudemont in Iolanta. Vasiliev is a frequent soloist of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and the Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow, and has performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Grand-Théâtre de Genève, Opera Australia, Opera de Lille, and other theaters throughout Europe and the US. Also active on the concert stage, Vasiliev has sung at international festivals in Russia, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Mexico, performing in Verdi’s Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and Janacek’s The Eternal Gospel.

Suzuki – Kristen Choi
Kristen Choi makes her Kansas City debut in Madama Butterfly. In recent seasons, she has made a role debut as Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Virginia Opera, and has made her European debut at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and Opéra National de Bordeaux as Paquette in Candide. Also making her Kennedy Center debut, Choi appeared as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Washington National Opera. She has sung Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro at Sarasota Opera, Jo in Mark Adamo’s Little Women at Opera North, and returned as a Santa Fe Opera apprentice for the world premiere of Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Other roles include Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Pacific Opera Project, the Old Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Rosina in The Barber of Seville with San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Choi has also appeared as Lady Thiang in The King and I more than 80 times.

Sharpless – Daniel Belcher
Last seen here as Owen Hart in Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking (2017), Daniel Belcher returns to the Lyric stage in Madama Butterfly. In the 2017-18 season, he has had two world premieres: at Opera Philadelphia as Inspector Kildare in Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Elizabeth Cree, and at Houston Grand Opera, as James Addison Mills in Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s The House Without a Christmas Tree. He also appeared as Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Count Danilo in The Merry Widow at Utah Opera, and made his Boston Lyric Opera debut as Street Singer and Tiger Brown in The Threepenny Opera. Other recent performances include Ping in Turandot at Opera Philadelphia and Atlanta Opera, Brian Castner in Jeremy Beck and Stephanie Fleischmann’s The Long Walk at Opera Saratoga, and Father Palmer in Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Silent Night at Michigan Opera Theatre. Belcher also recently debuted at Opéra Royal de Versailles as La Haine/Aronte in Armide. A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he has returned there to sing the title role in Billy Budd, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Schaunard in La bohème, among others.

Goro – Julius Ahn
Debuting with The Lyric in Madama Butterfly, Julius Ahn’s recent engagements include Pang in Turandot with San Francisco Opera, as well as his role debut as Bardolfo in Falstaff with Opera Omaha. He has appeared in his signature role of Pang at Seattle Opera, Utah Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, as well as Vancouver Opera and Tulsa Opera. Another signature role is Goro in Madama Butterfly, which he has sung with San Francisco Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Nashville Opera, Canadian Opera Company and at Royal Albert Hall. Ahn joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera for productions of The Nose, The Magic Flute, Turandot, Die Fledermaus, and Rigoletto. Other notable engagements include Tanzmeister and Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos at Boston Lyric Opera; Sellem in The Rake’s Progress with Princeton Festival; and Monostatos in The Magic Flute with Opera Carolina, Opera Omaha, and Hawaii Opera Theatre. Ahn studied with Vinson Cole at New England Conservatory of Music.

The following roles will be updated as casting continues:
Kate Pinkerton – Kelly Birch+
The Bonze – Peixin Chen
The Imperial Commissioner
The Official Registrar – Armando Contreras~

* Lyric Opera Debut
+ LOKC Resident Artist
~ LOKC Young Artist
@ Former LOKC Young Artist

Creative Team

Conductor – Ryan McAdams
Director – Ron Daniels *
Set Designer – Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer – Michael Yeargan

* Lyric Opera Debut

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