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The title character of Madama Butterfly – a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage – is one of the defining roles in opera. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.

Soprano Hui He takes on the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenor Andrea Carè as the American naval officer who abandons her. Paulo Szot is Sharpless, alongside Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki, and Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, a perennial audience favourite.

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