The 100,000-square-foot Castle Gould at the Sands Point Preserve Conservatory will present North Shore Music Festival’s Madama Butterfly, a 90-minute opera directed by director in residence Benjamin Spierman on July 30.
Composed by Giacomo Puccini in 1903, the tragic opera tells the heartbreaking story of a young geisha named Cio-Cio-San, also known as Madama Butterfly, who falls in love with United States Navy Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton stationed in Japan.
“It is heartbreaking, beautiful, tragic, joyful. Basically if you aren’t crying by the end, you should talk to your doctor, something is wrong,” said Dan Klein, a Great Neck native who will be singing the role of Sharpless, the American Consulate stationed in Nagasaki.
Joining Klein on the Great Hall stage are prima donna Na Li Youm, who has performed the role of Madama Butterfly multiple times including at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia; Theodore Chletsos as B.F. Pinkerton; Kathleen Shelton singing the role of Suzuki, the servant of Madama Butterfly; and many others.
“The Great Hall has fantastic acoustics, and it can accommodate a minimalist, modern stage set and orchestra, all in close proximity to the audience,” explained Beth Horn, managing director of the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy.
The intimate space is historic and dramatic, as Horn said, making it “a grand space for a great story.” Klein elaborated, saying that “opera remains one of the few forms of art that is at once intensely intimate and grandiose. The Great Hall at Castle Gould is a perfect size to allow the sound of the orchestra and voices, and yet no one will be so far away that the moments of beauty and heartbreak will be lost to the hall.”
What: North Shore Music Festival in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”
Where: Sands Point Preserve Conservatory
When: Saturday, July 30, 6-10pm
More Information: Tickets are $100 for members and $110 for non-members, and includes a light dinner buffet, cocktails and dessert in the Rose Garden at the Gatsby-era Hempstead House prior to the performance.