WESTFIELD, NJ — Soloists from the New York Metropolitan Opera joined the New Jersey Festival Orchestra to present “Madama Butterfly,” by Puccini on Saturday at the Westfield Presbyterian Church.

“‘Madama Butterfly’ is arguably the best-known opera of the 20th Century, with love interests both national and international in scope — the all suffering ‘damsel’ is Japanese and the faithless male lover, American,” said NJFO Music Director and Conductor David Wroe.

Madama Butterfly is the story of a fragile 15-year-old Japanese geisha who is betrayed by her American husband, B. F. Pinkerton. The music itself ultimately drew the orchestra to this masterpiece.

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“It’s lush music, passionate and driving, but with a peculiar mix of the Oriental fused with Italian verismo,” Wroe said.

The NJFO’s production featured soloists from across the globe, including soprano Asako Tamura, who  has sung the lead role worldwide and is praised in her native Japan; Noah Stewart, an African American who sang the lead male role of Pinkerton; and Metropolitan Opera regular Kyle Albertson, who played the American Consul.

The concert was presented in conjunction with Ray Catena of Union. The Joseph T. DeAlessandro Memorial Opera Concert was made possible through additional support of Marty Jeivens, the NJ State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. 

For information about upcoming performances, visit www.njfestivalorchestra.org or call the box office at 908-232-9400.