Soprano Katie Hannigan

FRIDAY 9/22 & SUNDAY 9/24 – Madama Butterfly

Buffalo Opera Unlimited production comes to Buffalo State

Tim Kennedy, artistic director of Buffalo Opera Unlimited, will bring his company’s new production of Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera Madama Butterfly to Buffalo State College this weekend. The production will debut at the Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center on the Buffalo State at 1300 Elmwood Avenue campus on Friday September 22 at 8pm, with a second performance on Sunday September 24 at 2:30pm. The performance will be sung in Italian, with English surtitles projected above the stage.

Soprano Holly Bewlay
Tenor Robert Zimmerman

Soprano Holly Bewlay, a local favorite, will sing the title role of Madama Butterfly, as Cio-Cio-San, a naïve fifteen-year old Japanese girl who an American naval lieutenant, B.F. Pinkerton, marries for convenience. Pinkerton, sung by tenor Robert Zimmerman, plans to divorce the guileless Cio-Cio San, as soon as he finds a suitable American wife. Soprano Katie Hannigan will sing the role of Butterfly’s faithful maid Suzuki, who stands by her, after her uncle Bonzo, sung by bass Kofi Hayford curses her for converting to Christianity so that she can marry Pinkerton. Baritone Eric Kesler appears as Sharpless, United States consul at Nagasaki, who tries unsuccessfully to do the right thing. Tenor Jeffrey Thompson is Goro, the Japanese matchmaker who tries to convince Butterfly that Pinkerton is not returning, so that he can marry her off to someone else. Tenor Kurt Griffen appears as Prince Yamadori, while bass Robert Liu sings the roles of both the Imperial Commissioner and the Official Registrar. Mezzo soprano Kaleigh Sutula is the unsuspecting American wife, Kate Pinkerton.

Buffalo Opera Unlimited artistic director Tim Kennedy is both the stage director for the production and the conductor of the orchestral ensemble. David King is the set designer, Harry Mandris the lighting designer, and Bernadine DeMike the costumer.

Tickets: $30 general, $25 senior, $10 student. Rockwell Hall Box Office 878-3005, or online at