The world premiere operatic adaptation of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly completes its run at Santa Fe Opera August 24. Hwang wrote the libretto, adapting his own script, with Huang Ruo (An American Soldier) penning the music. The opera began its run July 30. Watch highlights from the production above.
Countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim stars as Song Liling, with Mark Stone and Erik Grendahl sharing the role of René Gallimard, Hongni Wu as Comrade Chin and Shu Fung, Kevin Burdette as Manuel Toulon and Judge, and Joshua Dennis as Marc.
Conducted by Carolyn Kuan, the production is helmed by James Robinson, leading a creative team comprising scenic designer Allen Moyer, costume designer James Schuette, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, projection designer Greg Emetaz, and choreographer Seán Curran. Rick Sordelet and Christian Kelly-Sordelet served as fight and intimacy directors, with Susanne Sheston as chorus master.
The operatic adaptation is a full-circle moment for the 1988 play, which itself is partially inspired by Puccini's Madama Butterfly along with the real-life relationship between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Chinese opera singer Shi Pei Pu. The story centers on a civil servant at the French embassy in Beijing who falls in love with a Chinese opera singer who holds two shocking secrets. The original Broadway production was the 1988 Tony Award winner for Best Play, with the work being named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama the following year.
See photos from the world premiere below: