Lester Lynch stars in Nashville Opera’s Madame Butterfly Oct. 10 and 12 at TPAC

Lester Lynch baritone performs in Madame Butterfly.

Nashville Opera’s 2019-20 season opens in October with Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, the story of Japanese geisha Cio-Cio-San, who abandons her faith and her family for the dashing American sailor, Lieutenant Pinkerton. For more than a century, audiences have been thrilled by Giacomo Puccini’s  haunting, poignant music and touched by the lovely Butterfly, who sacrifices everything for love.

Baritone Lester Lynch, noted by Opera Today for his “ravishing, rolling baritone with power to spare,” will perform the role of Sharpless. Cuban-American soprano Elizabeth Caballero, who appeared as Mimi in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2018 production of La Bohème, returns to Nashville Opera as Cio-Cio-San. Caballero was last seen in Nashville in 2015, taking the title role in Nashville Opera’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Tenor Adam Diegel will make his Nashville Opera debut in the role of B.F. Pinkerton. Diegel, whose Pinkerton was hailed by Opera News as de-ploying a “penetrating, highly-placed tenor voice that was riveting to hear,” recently appeared as Froh in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Met. Mezzo soprano Cassandra Zoé Velasco, who thrilled audiences in Nashville Opera’s sold-out 2017 production of Maria de Buenos Aires, returns to Music City as Butterfly’s confidant, Suzuki.

Music by Giacomo Puccini, directed by John Hoomes and Conducted by Dean Williamson Featuring the Nashville Opera Orchestra and Ensemble is Sung in Italian with projected English titles with a Running Time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, as follows: Act I – 55 minutes, Intermission – 20 minutes, Act II – 80 minutes.

Puccini’s Madame Butterfly performances are Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. in Andrew Jackson Hall, TPAC.

Nashville Opera will offer a special Opera Insights talk an hour before the Thursday, October 10 performance, where Artistic Director John Hoomes will be joined by Vanderbilt University’s Joy H. Calico (Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Musicology) and Gerald Figal (Director of Asian Studies Program and Professor of Asian Studies and History) to discuss the representation of Japanese culture in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. This Opera Insights Talk, at 6:00 p.m., is free to all ticket holders.

Nashville Opera Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, creates artistic experiences that elevate our world. Among the most successful regional companies in the country, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Mainstage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Noah Liff Opera Center, playing to over 13,000 people annually. Each year, Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches approximately 25,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee.

SPOTLIGHT on LESTER LYNCH, Baritone

Lester Lynch, an established dramatic baritone, is making his mark in some of the world’s leading opera houses. Known for his charismatic portrayals and commanding voice, he is receiving rave reviews as he masters some of the most important baritone roles from Scarpia to Rigoletto to Count di Luna. Opera Today recently enthused, “It was booming baritone Lester Lynch who served notice that he is now in consideration for admittance to the Scarpia Preferred Pantheon – when he needed to pour it on he had the Puccinian fire power and the dramatic heat to raise the hair on the back of your neck.” The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, “Lester Lynch made a superb Macbeth, delivering an authoritative performance with a firm, powerful voice and wonderfully communicating both tragedy and madness.”

An accomplished concert artist, Mr. Lynch has performed a wide and varied repertoire with orchestras across the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra. His recent Carnegie Hall solo debut of Karl A. Hartmann’s Gesangsszene with the American Symphony Orchestra received rave reviews.

Mr. Lynch has received many distinguished awards, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Vocal Competition, and the Sullivan Awards. His work with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis earned him the Richard Gaddes Award.  His recent volunteer work includes two engagements with the Harare International Festival of Art in Zimbabwe in 2012 and 2013 where he produced a night of arias and ensembles with a group of his colleagues.

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