Metropolitan Opera 2019-20 Preview: Madama Butterfly

Hui He & Ana María Martinez Headline Revival

By David Salazar
(Credit: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera)

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is set to return to the Metropolitan Opera with two of the world’s greatest interpreters.

Fall Cast

The season premiere will open with Hui He in a role she has performed all over the world at such venues as the Arena di Verona, Opernhaus Zurich, Teatro Real de Madrid, the Dallas Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others. This will be the third time she performs the role at the Met. She previously performed it in 2012 and 2017 and has taken it on nine times with the company.

This season will also mark the first time the soprano is featured in the Live in HD Metropolitan Opera series and she will sing 10 performances between October and November.

She will be joined by two tenors in this run. First Piero Pretti, will make his long-awaited Metropolitan Opera debut. Pinkerton is one of Pretti’s signature roles, having performed it at the Wiener Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zurich, Opéra National de Paris, Bilbao Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Teatro di San Carlo Napoli.

Then Andrea Carè will make his Met debut as Pinkerton. The tenor has sung the role of Pinkerton with several companies including the Wiener Staatsoper and Teatro Real de Madrid

The two will be joined by Elizabeth DeShong in the role of Suzuki, a character she has performed at the Met in four presentations back in 2014. She has also performed it at the  Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera, and Bayerische Staatsoper.

Paulo Szot rounds out the cast as Sharpless, returning to the Met for the first since 2016.

Mary Ann McCormick will sing one performance as Suzuki.

Spring Cast

In the spring Ana María Martinez will return to the Met for the first time since 2016. The soprano has only performed at the Met on 16 occasions with four performances as Cio-Cio San. Butterfly is one of Martinez’s signature roles having taken the work on at the Wiener Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, and Houston Grand Opera. She will add another four performances to her Met resume with these upcoming presentations in April.

Maria Zifchak will perform the role of Suzuki in the production she inaugurated back in 2006. The Mezzo has already taken on the role of Suzuki 95 times at the Metropolitan Opera since 2001.

Martinez will also be joined by Carè and Marcus Brück in the role of Sharpless.

Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts both runs of the opera.