"With her strong, forthright soprano, Yunah Lee brought unflagging stage presence and confidence to Butterfly, demonstrating the geisha's spine, not her victimhood,"
- The Wall Street Journal
Opera Memphis opens its 2018-19 Season with Puccini's classic Madama Butterfly on Oct. 26 & 27 with internationally-acclaimed soprano Yunah Lee performing the title role of Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly.
Since her first performance of Madama Butterfly in 2002 with Boheme Opera, Ms. Lee has appeared on stage in the role of Cio-Cio-San in Asia, Europe, and the United States over 150 times. Each performance has earned her rave reviews and accolades from critics all over the globe.
"A nuanced, powerful delivery by Yunah Lee in the title role is enough reason to see the sad tearjerker.... Lee is one of the world’s leading interpreters of the role. It’s hard to imagine a more nuanced, yet powerful delivery of this music than the one Lee delivered on Saturday. What’s more, it was clear that singing more than 100 performances as Puccini’s self-sacrificing heroine hasn’t diminished the immediacy and freshness of her portrayal." (The Salt Lake Tribune)
"Yunah Lee’s Butterfly was first-rate: a big voice, projecting a wealth of focused color (particularly in the middle range), and excellent attention to the musical line." (Boston Globe)
"[T]horoughly captivating, above all thanks to Yunah Lee, who is utterly convincing in mood and presentation… a commanding and touching performance revealing the highs and lows of Butterfly’s emotions.” (DAS OPERNGLAS)
"That [Cio-Cio-San's] brave, pathetic loneliness nevertheless came through clearly was the work of the soprano Yunah Lee, an assertive, mature Butterﬂy.... she sang clearly and articulated the text eloquently." (The New York Times)
“[A] revelation… [her] voice unites the girlish innocence and the wistful sensuality [of Cio-Cio-San].” (ONLINE MUSIK MAGAZIN)
A professional on and off the stage, Ms. Lee brings her experience playing Cio-Cio-San to each rehearsal, enhancing the work of her fellow performers and imparting her knowledge of Japanese culture and history to collaboratively create authentic portrayals of Puccini's characters. "She's amazingly talented, warm-hearted, generous, vulnerable, and even after 150+ performances of the title role, she's still willing and eager to try new things," says Opera Memphis Music Director Michael Sakir.
Although best known for Madama Butterfly, a role and show that has blossomed into a long and fulfilling career, Ms. Lee has also performed leading roles in operas such as The Magic Flute (Orchestra Miami), Rusalka and La Bohème (Korea National Opera), Eugene Onegin (Seoul Philharmonic), Faust (Toledo Opera), Carmen (São Paulo Opera), Don Giovanni (New York City Opera), among many others. And like Butterfly, each performance has brought enthusiastic praise from opera critics and a growing fan base for Ms. Lee.
Memphis audiences have two nights to experience Yunah Lee's “handsomely colored full lyric sound” (Opera News) and “picture perfect” acting (Berkshire Fine Arts) in Giacomo Puccini's masterpiece Madama Butterfly, taking the stage at GPAC October 26 & 27, 7:30 PM. To reserve your tickets online click HERE or call the Opera Memphis Box Office at 901.202.4533.