Irish National Opera And RTÉ To Present Puccini’s Madama Butterfly Exclusively On RTÉ Player

By Nicole Kuchta

Irish National Opera and RTÉ, in association with the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and in partnership with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, will launch a new RTÉ Player Exclusive: Irish National Opera’s production of Puccini’s tragic opera “Madama Butterfly.”

Opera fans will be able to watch Ben Barnes’ thrilling production exclusively on RTÉ Player via their smartphones, tablets or TVs starting on Apr. 6, 2019.

In the press release, Artistic Director Fergus Sheil expressed his excitement at the chance to share this production with the world, as he is “enormously proud of the achievement of the cast, chorus, creative team and of course the magnificent RTÉ Concert Orchestra who play with such passion and precision.”

Celine Byrne stars as Cio-Cio-San, alongside Julian Hubbard as Pinkerton, Brett Polegato as Sharpless, and Doreen Curran as Suzuki. Rounding out the cast are Eamonn Mulhall as Goro, John Molloy as The Bonze, Niamh O’Sullivan as Kate Pinkerton, Brendan Collins as Yamadori, Robert McAllister as Imperial Commissioner, Kevin Neville as Official Registrar, Cormac Lawlor as Uncle Yakuside, Brid Ní Ghruagáin as Mother, Amy Ní Fhearraigh as Cousin, and Margaret Bridge as Aunt. The performance is conducted by Timothy Redmond and directed by Barnes, with costumes by Joan O’Clery.

Says Sheil, “As a new national opera company (founded in 2018) we are always looking for ways to reach new opera audiences both at home in Ireland and also internationally . . . Radio and online broadcasts enable us to reach even larger audiences, and this new collaboration with RTÉ is an important opportunity for us to bring the beauty of Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ to audiences around the world.”

In addition, Celine Byrne’s performance will be available to listeners worldwide on RTÉ lyric fm’s Opera Night on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 7 pm.