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Set to Puccini’s memorable score, artistic director Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly chronicles this timeless love story in an arrangement by John Lanchbery. The production unfolds dramatically on Peter Farmer’s picturesque sets, which beautifully evoke the mystery and languor of 19th century Japan.
Premiered by The Australian Ballet in 1995, Madame Butterfly was Mr. Welch’s first full- length ballet. The two-act work tells the story of the beautiful geisha Cio-Cio San who renounces her faith and her family to wed Lieutenant Pinkerton, the handsome American naval officer who is betrothed to another. The centerpiece of the work is a ravishing wedding night pas de deux for Pinkerton and Cio-Cio San, which closes the first act.
Since its premiere, Madame Butterfly has become Mr. Welch’s international signature piece, having entered the repertoires of Houston Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet West, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
“Madame Butterfly was the first full-length ballet I created for Australia Ballet in 1995,” says Mr. Welch. “The tale of Cio-Cio San takes the audience through her emotional journey. She portrays the dizzying glory of being in love, settles in to wait, displaying her loyalty and devotion to Pinkerton for years, only to be cruelly betrayed at the end. It’s a stunning tale that is highlighted by the gorgeous score arranged by John Lanchberry and designs by Peter Farmer.”
Adam Castaneda of the Houston Press wrote, “Madame Butterfly is a sumptuous story ballet, yes, but what makes this work such an essential piece of dance art is its striking images . . . Madame Butterfly is a testament to the grace and resilience of the female spirit (September 10, 2012)."
Houston Ballet will also perform artistic director Stanton Welch’s Son of Chamber Symphony.
This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 AM-1:00 PM. If tickets remain at 1:00 PM, the box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets. As always, open seating on the hill. The shows goes on rain or shine.
Produced by Houston Ballet