Vineyard Touring Opera Company, in cooperation with the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, will host a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly Friday, June 19th at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, 1210 Fourth St., Santa Monica.
Venezuelan soprano Bego“a Bilbao is cast in the title role of Butterfly and tenor Donald Squillace is Lt. B.F. Pinkerton.
The conductor and music director is Alan Medak.
Sharpless, the American consul, is played by Mario Biscaldi, Suzuki is played by Marcela Pan, and Juventino Zapata plays the role of Goro. Jeff Bergquist is the imperial commissioner, Paul Junger is Prince Yamadori, and William Bartlett plays the Bonz.
Butterfly’s relatives are performed by Barbara McQuaide, Christy Hoverder, and Karen Sarames. Janet DeMay plays Kate, and Jacqueline Araujo plays Dolore.
Pierre Loti, a French naval officer in 1887, chronicles the ancient custom of American and European sailors who patronize Japanese tea houses and geishas but also at times take temporary wives when they docked in Japan. Each crewman was provided a house, servants, and a temporary wife for the duration of his stay.
In this way, the young women were able to support their families and officers found relief from the long, lonely months at sea.
Butterfly becomes Pinkerton’s temporary wife, and is rejected by her family after she gives birth to their mixed-race son. Pinkerton, upon leaving Japan and taking a new bride, learns three years later that Butterfly and the son he never knew are alone and impoverished.
Tickets are $35 for the opera, which is presented with orchestra and chorus and sung in Italian. A simultaneous English and Spanish translation will be projected above the stage.
The performance is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club stage, which was built in 1914.
For tickets, (800) 595-4849, or to order online, www.goldstar.com/.