Topic: College of Fine Arts

January 24, 2007

Ball State's School of Music is bringing "Madame Butterfly" to campus at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2-3 in Emens Auditorium.

Composed by Giacomo Puccini, the opera is the story of a Japanese geisha, Cio-Cio-San, and her arranged marriage to a brash American naval lieutenant in the early 1900s.

People of all ages and musical backgrounds will enjoy "Madame Butterfly," said Joseph Levitt, assistant professor of voice at Ball State, who is the opera's stage director and will portray Butterfly's husband, B.F. Pinkerton.

"From the sets to the costumes, to the singers and orchestra, the forces we have put together are massive, well-rehearsed and of the highest quality," Levitt said.

Guest soprano Joan Gibbons and guest conductor Fiora Contino join the cast, chorus and orchestra of Ball State students.

Gibbons has traveled around the country and world, performing in roles such as Mimi in "La Bohème," Micaëla in "Carmen" and Eleanor d'Aquitaine in "Flower and Hawk." She has performed with such companies as the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, New York City Opera, l'Opéra de Nice and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Contino, a prominent female conductor, earned a master's and doctorate in conducting at Indiana University. She has been the guest conductor of opera productions and symphony concerts throughout the United States and served as the artistic director of Opera Illinois from 1986 until 2005.

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for Ball State students. Tickets can be purchased at the Emens box office at (765) 285-1539, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at (765) 644-3131 or online at

Group rates are available at the Emens box office. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information, call (765) 285-1539.

By Kim Jackson