Melbourne City Ballet will appear at the Glasshouse as they tour nationally in 2018 with the powerful story of Madame Butterfly. Passion, love and tragedy have certainly been strong themes in Melbourne City Ballet’s program in recent years, with Artistic Director Michael Pappalardo’s adaption of Giacomo Puccini’s infamous Madame Butterfly enveloping these themes.
At the Glasshouse for one night only on Sunday 23 September, Madame Butterfly follows a young Japanese girl called Cho-Cho (nicknamed “Butterfly) as she marries US Naval Officer Pinkerton only to have him depart for the Americas. As the years pass Butterfly awaits his return with hope, refusing any new suite but her Pinkerton.
It is only upon Pinkerton’s return that Butterfly realise their union was not as she thought, ending in one of opera’s most infamous tragedies.
Redeveloped into a newly choreographed three-act ballet, Melbourne City Ballet’s production will capture the story’s essence through the fusion of traditional Japanese and classical ballet movement. The production showcasing the company’s exquisite choreography and versatility, whilst featuring impressive new scenery, beautiful oriental costumes and of course Puccini’s evocative score.
This production originally premiered in Melbourne in 2016 with Melbourne City Ballet working closely with many from the Japanese community to ensure the production respectfully pays homage in an accurate but delicate manner. Audiences are rarely given the opportunity to see Madame Butterfly performed as a full length ballet and this certainly is a production not to be missed.
When I’m playing the role of Butterfly I often reflect back to my time in Japan. Next year will mark ten years since I have performed in Japan. It's interesting how things can be so connected, they both hold a special place in my heart Yuiko Masukawa, Principal Artist.