Butterfly alights upon Grand venue

Madame Butterfly. Heritage Opera. Picture by Martin Cassell.

Madame Butterfly. Heritage Opera. Picture by Martin Cassell.

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Heritage Opera returns to Lancaster Grand Theatre next week with a tale of love, betrayal and heartbreak.

Madame Butterfly, by Puccini, is the story of Cio Cio San – the ‘Madame Butterfly’ of the title – the Nagasaki geisha girl, who falls for and marries Lt Pinkerton of the US Navy.

Madame Butterfly, by Puccini

Madame Butterfly, by Puccini

Soon after the wedding Pinkerton sails off into the sunset, leaving behind Cio Cio San and her maid, Suzuki, to pick up the pieces.

Butterfly waits patiently, hoping that ‘one fine day’ he will return. At last, Pinkerton’s ship is sighted on the horizon. However, there will be no happy ending for Madame Butterfly.

This most famous of operas contains many beautiful moments, including possibly the most celebrated soprano aria in all opera ‘Un Bel Di ‘ (One Fine Day).

Heritage Opera, the north west’s professional touring opera company, has been visiting Lancaster since 2006 with its unique takes on the most well-loved operas.

We really enjoy playing in the wonderful Georgian building, The Lancaster Grand theatre. That place is such a piece of theatre history, and it’s always a pleasure to return there

Drama is key, and the productions really get to the heart of each story.

The company prides itself on using northern-based professionals wherever possible, and the cast of Madame Butterfly is 80 per cent northern.

The leading singers have international careers, and are supported by a cast of young up-and-coming singers, who are part of the Heritage Opera Young Artist programme.

Artistic director Sarah Helsby Hughes said: “We’ve been visiting Lancaster for nearly 10 years now, and the audience is very enthusiastic and loyal.

“We really enjoy playing in the wonderful Georgian building, The Lancaster Grand theatre. That place is such a piece of theatre history, and it’s always a pleasure to return there.”

Madame Butterfly will be performed in Italian, with English subtitles, by a cast of 10 professional singers, accompanied by a seven-piece orchestra.

Madame Butterfly is at Lancaster Grand on Saturday September 12 from 7.30pm

Tickets are £20 full price, £19conc, and £10 for under 16 and jobseekers, from The Lancaster Grand box office on 01524 64695, or online at lancastergrand.co.uk