Preview: Portland Opera Presets: Madame Butterfly 0

PORTLAND OPERA is pleased to announce Puccini’s masterpiece MADAME BUTTERFLY.

Keller Auditorium | February 3, 5, 9, 11, 2012

Portland Opera is pleased to announce Puccini’s goldmine of unforgettable musical moments, Madame Butterfly, opening February 3 at Keller Auditorium with additional performances on February 5th, 9th and 11th, 2012. Tickets, beginning at $20 can be purchased at the Portland Opera box office and Ticketmaster outlets.

“Madame Butterfly reflects the opening of Asia to the Western World,” says Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano, “and therefore fits perfectly with this season’s theme of When Our World Changes. The opera resonates today,” he continues, “because it is a very human work of deeply felt characters. Cio-Cio-San is one of the richest characters in all of opera, and Butterfly Puccini’s greatest work.”

Set in turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, Madame Butterfly is the story of a fragile, but courageous young woman, Cio-Cio-San, and her love for the cavalier—and unthinking—American sailor, Pinkerton. While he takes his vows very lightly, her love for him is complete and total. And when he leaves, nothing can persuade her that he will not some day return for her. The strength and purity of her devotion create some of the most passionate moments in all of opera and an ending of true operatic proportions.


Friday, February 3, 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 5, 2:00 PM
Thursday, February 9, 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 11, 7:30 PM

TICKETS, starting as low as $20.00, can be purchased:

Portland Opera Box Office, 503-241-1802, Toll-free 866-739-6737,
(Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm). Ticketmaster, (800) 982-ARTS (days, evenings, and weekends).


Portland Opera Box Office, 211 SE Caruthers St. (just south of OMSI, off Water Ave.) Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Ticketmaster outlets
Portland Center for the Performing Arts (SW Broadway & Main).

GROUPS: 10 or more save up to 20% by calling Group Sales at 503-417-0573.

6:30 RUSH: Students/Military $10 per ticket, Seniors $20 per ticket, 1 hour prior to show only, all available unsold seats. 1 ticket per person, valid ID required

For other information about tickets or this production, please visit our website at:

Puccini was shocked by its legendary opening night disaster in 1904, when it was greeted with jeers from the audience. But after several revisions, Madame Butterfly won instant popularity and became one of opera’s most enduring and beloved works. Its poignant tale was the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Miss Saigon. Now owned by Portland Opera, the sets and costumes were designed by Lloyd Evans and built by New York City Opera. This production was featured in a PBS telecast and last enjoyed by Portland audiences in 2005. Sung in Italian with projected English translations.

The Cast
After becoming an instant favorite when she made her debut here as Mimi in La Bohème, 2009, soprano KELLY KADUCE returns to sing the title role of Cio-Cio-San. Her Santa Fe Opera outing in this role prompted The New York Times to describe her as “gifted and compelling,” noting also that her “warm and tender singing conveyed the aching vulnerability of the . . . trusting Butterfly.” Opera News praised her as “a superb actress.” Mezzo soprano KATHRYN DAY returns to reprise her role of Suzuki (Madame Butterfly, 2005). The Seattle Times lauded her Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera at Seattle Opera as a “great success . . . casting a spell of her own in charismatic singing and acting.” A frequent guest at The Metropolitan Opera, she will appear later this season in the HD Broadcast of Manon.

Canadian tenor ROGER HONEYWELL returns to sing Lieutenant Pinkerton after making his Company debut at Portland Opera’s first ever Gala Concert and simulcast, Big Night (2011). Opera News called his Laca in Jenufa “vocally strong and reassuring,” and The New York Times called him an “assertive dramatic tenor” with a “burnished sound and crisp diction.” Making his Company debut is baritone JOHN HANCOCK who sings Sharpless. The New York Times declared him “a strong, dark baritone of subtle expressive potential.”

Returning to Portland Opera is tenor JON KOLBET as Goro and bass GUSTAV ANDREASSEN who will sing The Bonze. A Portland native, Opera News remarked on Andreassen’s “extraordinary potent bass . . . sonorous, distinctive, with fine musicianship and dramatic flair.” Also in the cast are three of the Portland Opera Studio Artists: mezzo soprano CAITLIN MATHES sings Kate Pinkerton, baritone ANDRÉ CHIANG sings Yamadori and bass NICHOLAS NELSON sings the Commissioner.

CHRISTIAN SMITH (Madame Butterfly, 2005) returns to direct the action and ANNE MANSON (Orphée, 2009) returns to the podium to conduct. Of her conducting on Portland Opera’s first commercial recording, Orphée, The New York Times said “An excellent recording . . . The vibrant Ms. Manson works effectively to bring transparency and balance to the orchestra, without loss of plush colors and harmonic intensity.”

Cio-Cio-San Kelly Kaduce
Pinkerton Roger Honeywell
Suzuki Kathryn Day
Sharpless John Hancock *
The Bonze Gustav Andreassen
Goro Jon Kolbet
Yamadori André Chiang †
Kate Pinkerton Caitlin Mathes †
Commissioner Nicholas Nelson †

Conductor Anne Manson
Stage Director Christian Smith
Lighting Designer Jeff Davis

With the Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra
* Portland Opera debut
† Portland Opera Studio Artist

For musical excerpts, plot synopsis and detailed cast bios visit

Music: Giacomo Puccini
Libretto: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on David Belasco’s play, Madame Butterfly
Lyrics: Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
World Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, February 17, 1904
Portland Opera Premiere: March 1967
Last seen at Portland Opera: February 2005

(Calendar Editors Kindly Note)

In its ongoing quest to make Opera as accessible as possible, Portland Opera has a robust schedule of events designed to explore the many facets of Madame Butterfly.


1/26/12 “Northwest Previews,” All Classical 89.9 fm at 6 PM
1/28/12 Salem Public Library (585 Liberty St. SE) in Loucks Auditorium, 2:30 PM, Free
1/29/12 Multnomah County Central Library, Collins Gallery, 2 PM, Free
2/6/12 Lakewood Center for the Arts, Headlee Mainstage Theater, Lake Oswego, 7 PM, Free

Destination Opera: From Music to Psyche
A unique partnership with the Oregon Psychoanalytic Center, Destination Opera explores the hidden subtexts of each opera this season. Barbara Drinka, joins Alexis Hamilton, Manager of Education and Outreach, to debate and discuss Madame Butterfly.

2/08/12 – 7 PM | Sherman Clay Pianos | 131 NW 13th Ave. | Free

Opera Insights
These free and informative sessions, led by musicologist Bob Kingston, focus on the music and history behind the evening’s opera in ways that make the evening’s performance even more satisfying.

1 hour prior to each performance | First Balcony Level. Free.

Back Talk
Immediately after each opera performance, audiences are invited to join General Director Christopher Mattaliano and an interesting variety of guests that will include fresh-from-their-dressing-room performers, directors and conductors for a 20-30 minute Q&A.

Orchestra Level | Free