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Madama Butterfly returns to UCH Madama Butterfly returns to UCH


Madama Butterfly returns to UCH



The show must go on
“Opera triumphs over war” Ellen Kent

Starring Korean soprano, Elena Dee and Japanese soprano Miki Mori*

The award winning producer Ellen Kent returns to Limerick this October after her recent critically acclaimed British and Irish national tours of Nabucco, Aida and La Boheme with a stunning traditional production of Puccini’s masterpiece, Madama Butterfly (Opera of the Year Award –  Liverpool Daily Post). Expect exquisite sets including a spectacular Japanese garden and fabulous costumes such as antique wedding kimonos from Japan designed by the renowned Ukrainian designer Nadia Shvets from the National Ukrainian opera of Kharkiv. With a host of international soloists from the national operas of Odessa, Spain and Rostov and the support of the National Philharmonic in Chisinau, this is an opera not to be missed!

Kent has had many adventures over the past 22 years producing Operas from Eastern Europe, even encountering the Orange Revolution in Odessa, which broke out during her rehearsals of Butterfly and Traviata in 2005. This year Ellen set out to work on a tour with The Ukraine National Opera in Kharkiv and found herself 6 miles from a very bloody civil war. Kent thought: “Here we go again.” But as she previously said in 2005 ‘The show must go on!’ and was still prepared to travel and rehearse in Kharkiv. However, Ellen was persuaded by the British Foreign Office not to travel due to fatalities and kidnappings, not to mention bombings in the area. With the support of the Kharkiv Opera, Ellen managed to transport the complete sets, props and costumes for all three productions, despite being close to the bombing and insurgents robbing transport on the Ukrainian roads. It is all now safely in Chisinau for rehearsals with additional chorus, orchestra and soloists from the Chisinau Opera and Philharmonic. With a company including Ukrainians, Moldovans and Russians all working together in perfect harmony, it seems that Ellen’s powers of diplomacy have succeeded where many heads of state have failed in recent times.




Madama Butterfly is Puccini’s popular tale which the hit West End musical Miss Saigon is based. International Korean soprano Elena Dee, whose emotional portrayal of Mimi in Ellen Kent’s recent La Boheme received such high praise, and Japanese soprano Miki Mori, will be singing the role of the tragic Cio Cio San.  Zinevych who’s Rudolpho in La Boheme so captured hearts and who has sung with Pavarotti returns with the 70 strong company to perform his Pinkerton. Music is provided by the esteemed Chisinau National Philharmonic orchestra and conducted by Nicolae Dohotaru.

“Her voice has clarity and soaring emotion.” The Stage, Kevin Berry (Elena Dee)

Madama Butterfly – the heart-breaking story of the beautiful Japanese girl, who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant, resulting in heart wrenching drama includes the melodic Humming Chorus, the moving aria One Fine Day and the unforgettable Love Duet. As with any of Ellen Kent’s shows all of the soloists have been hand-picked and directed by Ellen to create a stunning and emotional production of Madama Butterfly.

“Above all it was a production which captured the raw emotion at the centre of the opera. Don’t take a handkerchief with you, take a box of them.”  The Independent
“This is a butterfly to cherish” Manchester Evening News.  

The show will take place at the University Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday 25th October, 8pm
Tickets: €39 / €25 Conc. Available (Booking fee applies)
To buy tickets to this spectacular event you can call UCH on 061 331549 or visit their website at 

Read more about events taking place at the University Concert Hall here!

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.