Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Washington National Opera: Madame Butterfly

The sun rises on turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, where dashing American naval officer Pinkerton has chosen delicate Cio-Cio-San to be his bride. A naïve young geisha on the verge of womanhood, the clearly smitten and fiercely loyal "Butterfly" dismisses warnings of the lieutenant's ulterior motives. When betrayal inevitably strikes, and Butterfly must endure both shame and sorrow, she decides to take destiny into her own hands--leading to one of the most devastating and legendary final scenes in all of opera. This dramatic staging of Puccini's beloved masterpiece features dazzling sets and costumes by Jun Kaneko, whose kaleidoscopic designs for 2014's The Magic Flute left WNO audiences spellbound. Madame Butterfly also soars with some of the most treasured music in all of opera, including the extended Act I love duet and the Act II soprano showcase "Un bel dì (One beautiful day)." Don't miss this "superb" and "inventive" production that reminds us "why we love these operas in the first place--and why we keep coming back" (The San Francisco Chronicle).