Marshall Artists Series welcomes opera, “Madame Butterfly”

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“Madame Butterfly,” an opera about love and abandonment between a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and Japanese geisha named Butterfly, and its 30-piece orchestra is coming to Huntington as a part of the 2019-2020 Marshall Artists Series at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7.

“I’ve done this show many times all over the world, not only in the United States but also in all of Europe and Japan, among other places, and people react the same way no matter where they are from; they love it,” said Giorgio Lalov, the director of this production of “Madame Butterfly.”

The opera takes place in the early 1900s in Nagasaki, Japan, and it is about the marriage of a U.S. naval officer named Pinkerton and Butterfly.

Madame Butterfly first premiered in 1904 in Milan, Italy and has since been adapted into different movies, as well as being the inspiration behind one of Broadway’s longest running shows, “Miss Saigon.” 

Lalov said it was important to stay true to what the original creators wanted.

“I try to follow what the composers had in minwd, always. With traditional operas, there are certain rules that you cannot escape, you have to do it that way,” Lalov said. “I lived in Japan for a number of years when I was young, so I learned a lot by being there about the Japanese culture and things like that.”

This will not be first time the Marshall Artists Series has brought Lalov to Huntington. He was the director of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme” when it came to the Keith Albee in 2015.

“You have a wonderful audience there in West Virginia,” Lalov said. “I’ll tell you what, I love the theatre there (Keith Albee). It’s not just another modern hall and I know my singers love the sound of the theatre.”

The show will have English subtitles displayed. There will be a pre-show talk with people who are involved with the opera from 6-6:30 p.m. before the show starts. 

Performers will discuss the opera and give background information to the audience. The pre-show is free with a ticket to the show. 

Tickets can be picked up from 12-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Joan C. Edwards box office.

Tickets are free for full-time students with a student ID, half-price for part-time students or purchased for $98.42, $81.97, $71.00, or $64.42. 

Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Joan C. Edwards box office.

Emily Hayslett can be contacted at [email protected]

Phil Klem