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Jun Kaneko will bring a new production of an opera favorite to San Francisco

Scene from the Vancouver Opera production of Jun Kaneko's staging
Scene from the Vancouver Opera production of Jun Kaneko's staging
by Tim Matheson, courtesy of the Vancouver Opera

The third production in the Summer 2014 season of the San Francisco Opera (SFO) will be a staging new to San Francisco of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Jun Kaneko, whom many will remember for an interpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute that was “the first all-digital production in SFO history” during the summer of 2012, will return as production designer. Stage director will be Leslie Swackhamer, making her SFO debut. Kaneko’s production and costume designs were described in the Vancouver Globe and Mail as “A Butterfly that soars in style. … the visual component of this production is so compelling, and so intelligent, that it lifts this opera to a new level.”

The title role of Cio-Cio San will be sung by American soprano Patricia Racette. This will be Racette’s 24th season performing with SFO. She will be joined by American tenor Brian Jagde singing the role of B. F. Pinkerton, the same role he will sing next year for his debut with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden. Butterfly’s maid Suzuki will be sung by mezzo Elizabeth DeShong, and United States consul Sharpless will be sung by baritone Brian Mulligan. Music Director Nicola Luisotti will conduct for all but the final two performances, which will be led by Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Madama Butterfly will be given eight performances at 2 p.m. on June 15, 7:30 p.m. June 18, 8 p.m. on June 21, 8 p.m. on June 24, 8 p.m. on June 27, 7:30 p.m. on July 3, 2 p.m. on July 6, and 7:30 p.m. on July 9. Further information may be found at the event page for this production on the SFO Web site. Single ticket prices begin at $24 and may be purchased through that same event page. They may also be purchased at the SFO Box Office in the War Memorial Opera House (301 Van Ness Avenue at the northwest corner of Grove Street) or by calling 415-864-3330. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It is open for telephone orders only on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the performance season. In addition Standing Room tickets go on sale for $10 (cash only) at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance.