As part of its worldwide release schedule, Cunard Line is proud to announce the first shipboard screenings of the 3D feature film, “Madam Butterfly 3D,” in association with the Royal Opera House and RealD, the world’s most widely used digital 3D projection technology. Captured during live performances at London’s internationally renowned Royal Opera House, “Madam Butterfly 3D” will be shown aboard Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, beginning 6 July 2012, the only ship currently scheduled to present the film. The film opened earlier this year in the United Kingdom to much popular and critical acclaim and is being released worldwide in almost 40 other countries through the fall of 2012.
Cunard began its successful partnership with RealD in 2011 with the installation of RealD 3D projection technology, furthering the relationship later that year with screenings of the RealD and Royal Opera House co-production, “Carmen in 3D,” which proved hugely popular with Cunard guests. “Madam Butterfly 3D” is expected to draw equally large and appreciative audiences when it is presented in the ship’s grand 450-seat theatre, Illuminations. This second co-production between RealD and the Royal Opera House gives viewers the best seat in the house at one of the world’s most prestigious venues for one of the world’s best loved operas.
Combining the excitement of live staging with the immediacy of a feature film, “Madam Butterfly 3D” is a production designed to appeal to novices and opera buffs alike.
“The success of Cunard’s screenings of ‘Carmen in 3D’ over the last year has demonstrated the broad appeal of world-class opera productions on film to guests who may be regular opera-goers but who may equally not have had the time or opportunity to attend live performances,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We’re sure ‘Madam Butterfly 3D’ will continue to play to full houses on board and add a new highlight to the wide-ranging programme of on board speakers, workshops and performances that set Cunard apart.”
“There are few British institutions more respected and admired in the world than the Royal Opera and Cunard,” says Joseph Peixoto, president of worldwide cinema at RealD. “To bring this world-class production to Queen Mary 2 ensures it will be seen on cruises throughout the world – just as it will be enjoyed in cinemas around the world this year. The 3D filmmakers of this beautiful and powerful film make you feel like you’re standing on the stage at Covent Garden.”
“Madam Butterfly 3D” takes audiences into the heart of this intimate production, immersing them in a tragic story of love, passion and betrayal. The story of a Japanese geisha’s love for an American naval officer moved Puccini to compose music of rare and sensual beauty, but also of heart-rending power, as Butterfly’s tragedy unfolds to its devastating conclusion. This work is one of opera’s most ravishing scores, featuring the famous Humming Chorus, Butterfly’s soaring aria “Un bel di vedremo” (“One fine day”), and such wonderfully lyrical passages as Cio-Cio-San’s first entrance, Pinkerton’s seduction of her, and Cio-Cio-San’s passionate farewell to her son.
Liping Zhang appears as the Butterfly of the title, Cio-Cio-San, a role for which she is acclaimed worldwide – and James Valenti makes an especially dashing Pinkerton, the young officer whose thoughtless toying with love is the catalyst for this tragic story. This revival of Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s elegant stage production offers the drama, the musical richness and the sheer enjoyment of great performances that make The Royal Opera truly world class.
“Madam Butterfly 3D” was directed for cinema by Julian Napier and produced by Phil Streather. The original stage production was directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier with costume designs by Agostino Cavalca and set designs by Christian Fenouillat. The music is by Giacomo Puccini and the libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica.