Madam Butterfly

Armidale Town Hall - November 1973

Stage Direction by Gwen Foggon
Musical Direction by Keith Aubrey

By Giacomo Puccini.

SYNOPSIS

Act I

The house and garden wich Lieutenant Pinkerton has leased for his marriage to Madam Butterfly. It is spring and the wedding day.

Lieutenant Pinkerton, an American naval officer visiting Japan, has fallen in love with a young Japanese geisha, Cho-cho-san, known as Madam Butterfly. The American Consul, Sharpless, vainly tries to dissuade Pinkerton from making the marriage. The marriage is celebrated but not without opposition from the Bonze who denounces Butterfly for renouncing her old religion. Subsequently Pinkerton leaves Butterfly, promising to return "when the robins nest".

Act II Part I

Madam Butterfly's house and garden three years later; late afternoon and evening.

Three years have passed and Butterfly has borne Pinkerton a son. Despite his promise Pinkeron has not returned to Japan. Butterfly is sure he will come "One fine day". Sharpless tries to tell her that Pinkerton has married an American wife but she does not listen to his explanation. Prince Yamadori comes to seek Butterfly's hand but she refuses him. A cannon shot from Pinkerton's ship "The Abraham Lincoln" attracts Butterfly's attention and she and Suzuki decorate her home with flowers and patiently await Pinkerton's arrival.

​​

Act II Part II

The same scene early next morning.

While Butterfly is resting after her long vigil, Pinkerton arrives with Sharpless and his American wife, Kate, who is prepared to adopt Pinkerton's child. Pinkerton however is too overcome with remorse to face Butterfly and leaves without seeing her. Faced by Kate Pinkerton Butterfly realises with shock the truth of her situation and agreest to let Pinkerton take his son away in half an hour's time. Left alone, she embraces the child, falls upon her father's sword and dies as Pinkerton and Sharpless rush in.

CAST

Madam Butterfly (Cho-cho-san): Ruth Sainsbury, Suzuki, Cho-cho-san's servant: Jennifer Warnock, Kate Pinkerton: Margaret Novak, B F Pinkerton, Lieutenant in the United States Navy: Frederick Dore, Sharpless, United States Consul at Nagasaki: Jeffrey Warnock, Goro, A marriage broker: Bob Dunn, The Bonze, Cho-cho-san's uncle: David Rummery, Prince Yamadori: David Rummery, The Imperial Commissioner: David Pitt, Cho-cho-san's Mother: Yvonne McLeod, The Aunt: Frances O'Brien, The Cousin: Beryl Hamel, Trouble, Cho-cho-san's child: Alexander Bell

Servants: Helen Rummery, Julie Sadleir, Janine Phillips, Cho-cho-san's Friends: Betty Dizick, Margaret Coggan, Ann Haydon, Margaret Roach, Margaret Novak, Lyn Forbes, Gwenda Hardy

ARMIDALE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Leader: Laurence Pulley, Violins: Mother Cecilia, Eunice Allingham, Ted Kearns, Lois Kesteven, Florence Brereton, Elfie Sturmer, Joan Milner, Richard Milner, Viola: Francis Atkinson, Cellos: Arpad Got, Elizabeth Lewis, Flutes: Margaret Hawkins, Anne King, John Clack, Timpani: Joanna Griffiths, Oboe: Evan Lewis,Clarinets: Warren King, Kay Walker, Miriam Wray, Bassoon: Jim Hawkins, Horns: James Ridsdill-Smith, Carl Merten

PRODUCTION TEAM

Stage Direction: Gwen Foggon 
Musical Direction: Keith Aubrey 
Assistant Musical Director: Wendy Huddleston 
Stage Manager: Howard Wheaton
Costumes: Sylvia Pink
Lighting: Lew Payne
Make-up: John Allenby, Aline Christenson
Properties: Els Coventry, Nerida Curtis
Set Design: Gwen Foggon
Stage Construction: Max Piddington
Stage Assistant: Cathy Stove
Publicity: Olive Aubrey
Business Manager: Peter Robinson
House Manager: John Coventry
Rehearsal Pianist: Wendy Huddleston
Poster Design: Sandra Byrne
Gala Opening Night: Peter Robinson, Ray Kerr, Christine Pully, Howard Wheaton
Usherettes: Shirley Falconer, Pam McWatters, Rita Farrell

THANKS

Advertising: Armidale Express, Radio 2AD, Handbill sponsorship: Spark and Co, Tom Thomas of Prudential, Japanese Arts Display: Japanese Information Centre, Loan of costumes: Els Coventry, Dorothy Miller, Mildred Miller, Beryl Hamel, Gwen Foggon, Mrs H Coddington, Mrs A Luya, Loan of flower pots: Chappells Nursery, Loan of furniture: "Trend" Gift Shop, Rehearsal Venue: Armidale Demonstration School, Armidale Teachers' College, St Ursula's College