The exquisite thrill of Madama Butterfly

Cio-Cio San and Col. Pinkerton, sung by Maria HeeJung Kim and Vitali Liskovetsky, April 4

OUT OF war torn Ukraine moves a creation of beauty. The exquisite Japanese garden sets of ‘Madama Butterfly’, sunrises over the Pacific, hand-embroidered antique costumes and most of all, the wonderful singing and music of Ellen Kent’s production, will make their Limerick date of Wednesday April 4 sacred.

One performance only will take place at University Concert Hall of ‘Madama Butterfly’. With two previous outings here over a span of seven years, this specific production is a recognised work of grace and beauty, a  privilege to behold.


Bear in mind that this Puccini production won ‘Best Opera’ in the Liverpool Daily Post’s Theatre Awards and plaudits wherever it has toured. We love its arias, ‘One Fine Day’, ‘The Humming Chorus’ and the duet that have lived to become seminal classics in the cannon of opera.

From the Korean National Opera, Maria HeeJung Kim plays the tender role of Butterfly, faithful Cio Cio San who is wooed and left by the married naval lieutenant Col. Pinkerton/ Vitali Liskovetsky. His role is sung by an experienced Ukrainian tenor from the stable of the Kiev National Opera who has been to Limerick several times.

Fittingly, Liskovetsky trained originally as a military pilot. He joined Ellen Kent’s caravan on tour with ‘Carmen’ in 2015, followed by ‘Tosca’ and later, ‘Aida’, ‘La Boheme’ and ‘Nabucco’.

Zara Vardanean, the American mezzo-soprano who trained at the Vienna State Opera, returns to sing the part of Suzuki, Butterfly’s loyal handmaid.

This is an Ellen Kent Production brought to us by her Opera & Ballet International company. Look forward to the impressive presence of the 30-strong National Ukrainian Orchestra with guest conductor by Nicolae Dohotaru of the National Opera of Moldova. Her overarching operatic director is Vasyl Vasylenko of the National President’s Orchestra of Ukraine.

Book with University Concert Hall at box office or, noting the proviso that the cast may change according to specific performances, 8pm.

At 6pm on April 4 in the magnificent East Room restaurant of Plassey House, there is the option of two course pre-opera supper. Friends of UCH €27 and others €32.