‘Madama Butterfly’ to Play in Santa Monica

Puccini’s tragic masterpiece “Madama Butterfly,” the summer offering of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera (LAMet), will be performed at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 9 and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica. Advance tickets are $25, with group rates available. At the door, tickets are $35.

Launched in 2008, the LAMet is the brainchild of sopranos Ella Lee and Linda Jackson, both accomplished performers.

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Lee, with her 30-year career in European capitals, and Jackson, home-grown and locally trained, recognized that there was a large, underserved audience missing out on the glories of grand opera, principally because of the prohibitive ticket prices facing today’s opera-goers. (The average season ticket price at the Los Angeles Opera is $132 per opera.) The two women set out to create an alternative.

Their nonprofit productions of opera classics feature accomplished professional singers and musicians who devote their time and talents mostly free of charge so that ticket prices can fit the entertainment budgets of both opera aficionados and first-timers alike.

LAMet productions focus on the magnificence of the human voice, presented in intimate settings. At Mount Olive Lutheran Church, attendees will find open seating in close proximity to the un-amplified singers and musicians.

“We are huge fans of the grandeur of Los Angeles Opera productions,” Jackson said. “We hope in our way to help grow the audience for grand opera in Southern California by offering productions accessible to virtually everyone, at prices almost everyone can afford, and close to home. We believe that like the best food, opera can and should be served fresh and locally.”

“Madama Butterfly,” the story of the tragic devotion of a young Japanese woman for an American naval officer, will feature sopranos Yayra Sanchez and Linda Jackson alternating as Cio-Cio San, and Steve Moritsugu as Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton. Other performers in the talented cast include Marcela Pan, Eric Castro, Paul Junger, Michael Margulies, Megan Morrow, Natalie Mendez, Maria Schmidt, Andrew Rodriguez, Richard Castillo, Ruthie Stone-Holt, Xochitl Vivianna Nisbet and Kent Vitale.

Music director is Abraham Fabella and Jackson serves as stage director. The address is 1343 Ocean Park Blvd. Call (310) 570-6448 or visit losangelesmet.com.

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