Young Chorley star Luke Maughan, five, to appear in tragic opera Madama Butterfly

Luke Maughan
Luke Maughan
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A plucky five-year-old from Chorley is to perform alongside world-class stars in the tragic opera Madama Butterfly.

Luke Maughan, who goes to The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, is to play the son of Cio-Cio-San, better known as Madama Butterfly.

Proud mum Helen Maughan, 39, said: “He’s extremely excited, really looking forward to it.

“He’s been put forward for a couple of roles before but he’s actually going to be on stage this time.

“With his age, size and looks he was what they were looking for.

“He doesn’t rehearse until 6.30pm on the night.

“It’s a non-speaking role but he’s on until the final scene. It will be a very last minute rehearsal so we have been looking at clips on YouTube to see what he has to do.

“It does mean he has been walking round the house singing opera at the top of his voice.

“He’s always said he wants to be a singer or make people laugh, he really enjoys things like that. He’s very outgoing.”

The year one Charnock Richard Primary School pupil will be on stage with the Russian State Opera at the Charter Theatre in Preston on Sunday, September 24 at 7.30pm.

A spokesman for the production said: “Set in Japan at the turn of the century, Madama Butterfly is among the most colourful and exotic of all operas, and from its theme of noble self-sacrifice spring melodies that grip your heart.

“No opera can match the tragedy and sorrow of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

“Luke is really looking forward to performing in the opera and is thrilled to be a part of an internationally acclaimed production.

“It’s the experience he will remember for a long time.

“If you’ve never tried opera before, you will love this full orchestra experience with brand new settings and fantastic costumes, exquisite singing, and those wonderful tunes that the audience will still be humming to themselves on their way home, making this a must-see opera production for everyone.”

As well as singing, Luke likes arts and crafts, particularly making things out of boxes, playing with friends and going on holiday to Spain.

He is also a big fan of gardening, helping to pick and collect fruit from the family’s garden.

Luke, who has only just started at school, loves it so far and as his teachers told Mum Helen, “he is very vocal and gets involved in class discussions.”

Helen is going to be chaperoning him back stage at the show.

Because it’s a school night, his twin sister Lily and his older sister Sophie, who is nine, are going to stay at home with their Grandmother Lorraine, 61.

Luke’s sixth birthday is over the same weekend of the show and he and his sister Lily have had to change the date for the party to be able to take part in the show.

They are going to celebrate turning six by going to Smithills Open Farm in Bolton for a special treat.

“He likes pigs,“ said Helen.

Tickets for Madama Butterfly start from £32 call the Box office to book – 01772 804444. Alternatively book online - prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/madama-butterfly

Music is by Giacomo Puccini.

The performance will be sung in Italian with English Subtitles. The cast will be accompanied by a live orchestra with over 30 musicians.