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Madama Butterfly 2002

Date: 12-17 September 2002
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Music: Giacomo Puccini
Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Opera Society of Hong Kong

Conductor: Muhai Tang
Producer/Director : Lo King-man
Chorusmaster: Raymond Fu
Repetiteur: Nina Yip
Lighting Designer : Leo Cheung
Costume Designer: Mandy Tam
Set Designer : Leo Yuen
 
 

The Cast
Butterfly Soprano:  Nancy Yuen (12,14,16/9), Xiuying Li (13,15,17/9)
Pinkerton Tenor:   Ion Pojar (12, 14, 16/9), Michele Fiammardente (13,15,17/9)
Suzuki  Mezzo-soprano:  Yun Deng (12,14,16/9), Wen Zhang (13,15,17/9)
Sharpless Baritone:  George Mosley (12,14-15,17/9), Jeffrey Buchman (13,16/9)
Goro  Tenor:   David Quah (12,15-17/9), Alex Tam (13-14/9)
Bonzo  Bass:   Ding Gao
Kate  Mezzo-soprano:  Tansy Wainwright
Yamadori Baritone / Tenor:  Sylvester Che (12-15/9), Bastien Tai (16- 17/9)
Commissioner Bass:   Pong Chung-lam
Registrar Bass:   Wong Po-to
Child Mime:   Leo Lai Wai-chung / Jonathan Wong Wai-hang / Mak Ki-chun
Servant Cook Mime:   Amornsomboon Pichead
Cook  Mime:  Hebert Tam Chi-ho
 
The Story
Act I On a terrace above Nagasaki harbour. Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton inspects the house he has leased from a marriage broker, Goro, who has procured him a geisha wife known as Madam Butterfly. To American Consul Sharpless. Pinkerton describes his carefree philosophy of pleasure. For the moment, he is enchanted with the fragile Butterfly and intends to go through a marriage ceremony with her. When Sharpless warns that the girl may not take her vows lightly, the Lieutenant brushes aside such scruples, adding that he will one day take a "real" American wife. At hat moment Butterfly is heard in the distance joyously singing of her wedding day. On arrival, surrounded by her friends, she tells Pinkerton how, when her family fell on hard times, she had to earn her living as a geisha. Soon her relatives arrive and noisily express their opinions on the marriage. When she finds a quiet moment. Butterlfly hsows her bridegroom her few earthly treasures, telling him her intention of embracing his Christian faith. With much pomp and ceremony the imperial commissioner performs the wedding ceremony, after which she guests toast the cople. Suddenly Butterfly's uncle Bonzo, a priest, bursts upon the scene, cursing the girl for having renounced her ancestors' religion. Pinkerton angrily orders the priest and family to leave. Alone with bride, he dries her tears and reminds her htat night is falling. Helped by her maid Suzuki into a pure white kimono. Butterfly joins the ardent Pinkerton in the garden, where they sing of their love.

Act II Three years later, Butterfly still waits for her husband's return. As Suzuki prays to her gods for aid, her mistress has her eyes fixed on the harbour. The maid urges Butterfly to remarry, for Pinkerton will never return. Butterfly asserts her faith - one fine day his ship will appear on the horizon. The Consul comes with a letter from Pinkerton, but before he can read it to Butterfly. Goro brings the latest suitor for her hand. The girl dismisses both him and the wealthy Prince Yamadori, insisting that her American husband has not deserted her. When they are alone. Sharpless again starts to read her the letter, suggesting as tactfully as he can that Pinkerton may never return. Butterfly proudly carries forth their child, insisting that as soon as Pinkerton knows of his son, he will surely come back. Moved by her devotion and lacking the heart to tell her of Pinkerton's remarriage, Sharpless leaves. Butterfly hears a cannons shot; seizing a spyglass, she discovers Pinkerton's ship entering the harbour. Delirious with joy, she and Suzuki strew the house with flower petals. Then, as night falls, she dons her wedding gown and, with her son and Suzuki, waits for her husband's return.

Act III As dawn breaks, Suzuki insists that Butterfly rest. Humming a lullaby to her child, she carries him to another room. Before long, Sharpless, Pinkerton and then Kate, his new wife, enter. When Suzuki realizes the truth, she collapses in despair. Out of consideration for her mistress, however, she agrees to break the news to her. Pinkerton overcome with remorse, bids farewell to the scene of his former happiness, then rushes away. No sooner is he gone than Butterfly comes forth, expecting to find him but finding Kate instead. She takes but a moment to guess the truth. Leaning on Suzuki for support, she agrees to give up her child if the father will return for him. Then sending Suzuki away, she takes a dagger and bows before a statue of Buddha. Just as she raises the blade, Suzuki pushes the child into the room. Tearfully sobbing a farewell to him. Butterfly sends him out to play. Then she stabs herself. Pinkerton's voice is heard in the distance calling Butterfly's name.

Chorus of The Opera Society of Hong Kong
The Opera Society of Hong Kong was established in 1992 by a group of dedicated singers. The Society has since performed its mission to promote western opera, operetta and vocal music in the Hong Kong community, while maintaining an outstanding standard of performance. With the vision of keeping abreast with world-renowned choruses, the Chorus strives to achieve professional standard. Under the direction of Raymond Fu, Chairman of the Society and Chorusmaster, the Chorus has achieved a consistently high standard of performance.

Since its establishment, the Chorus has performed in over 15 operas and many standard choral repertoires. In 1999, the Chorus was invited by the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra to join their Millennium Concerts in Dongguang and Guangzhou, and made its highly successful debut in the Mainland. The Chorus has also worked with famous orchestras such as St. Martin in the Fields and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Last year, the Chorus performed the Film and Music project Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc with the Anonymous 4.

The Opera Society of Hong Kong lays emphasis on nurturing its members through participating in various intensive training. Members? ability has been enhanced through activities such as master classes with world-renowned soprano Barbara Bonney and conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos etc.

Chorusmaster: Raymond Fu
Rehearsal Pianist: Lee Wai-yin
Assistant Chorusmaster: Wong Yiu-tong. Tony

SOPRANO
CHAN, Claudia
CHING, Lily
FU, Shirley
FUNG, Peggy
KUNG, Ellie
KWOK, Tiffany Angel
KWONG, Katherine
LAM, Lianne
LEE, Winnie
LEUNG, Noel
LI Si-lai
LIU Oi-ming. Amanda
LUK Yu-ping
MAN, Angel
MOK Yee-ying, Emily
WONG, Frances
WONG, Pancy
YIP Ching-yee, Mabel
YOUNG, Carrie

ALTO
CHENG Chi-suen
CHENG, Marilyn
CHOY, Juliet
HO, Donna
LAI Pui-yin, Ada
LEE Sin-yee, Sindy
LEUNG, Rita
LO, Bertha
NG, Connie
WONG, Anita

TENOR
CHAN Kam-hung
CHEUNG Shu-kan
LAM, Felix
Orlando
POON Kit-sang, Anthony
TAM Chi-ho, Hebert
TING Ka-lam
TO, Tucky
TSAI Ching-yee
TSANG Wai-ki
WONG Chi-lok
WONG Yiu-tong, Tony
YEUNG Tat-ming. David
YEUNG Yun-Ioong
YING Ee-ping
YIP, Eugene
YU Ka-wai

BASS
AUYEUNG, Herbert
KOK King-fai, Kenneth
KWONG Ming-hay
KWONG, Michael
PONG Chung-lam
TANG Sai-kin
WONG Po-to
YIP Kai-ming

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