Featured Artists in 'Madame Butterfly' Soprano Xiu Wei Sun and tenor Arturo Chacon Cruz star in the Washington National Opera's production of Madame Butterfly, with Placido Domingo conducting.
NPR logo Featured Artists in 'Madame Butterfly'

Featured Artists in 'Madame Butterfly'

Conductor Placido Domingo leads the Washington National Opera's production of Madame Butterfly. hide caption

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Soprano Xiu Wei Sun has performed the role of Cio-Cio-San in opera house throughout Europe and in North America. Karin Cooper hide caption

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Karin Cooper

Arturo Chacón-Cruz made his Washington National Opera debut as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly. hide caption

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Placido Domingo conducts the Washington National Opera's production of Madame Butterfly, starring Xiu Wei Sun and Arturo Chacón-Cruz.

Placido Domingo


Placido Domingo became General Director of the Washington National Opera in 2003, adding that role to his career as one of the greatest tenors of the past century. As general director, Domingo selects the WNO's repertory, and oversees casting and all stages of the creative process.

Domingo has also continued his international singing and conducting career. In Washington, Domingo has sung the role of Siegfried in two different productions of Wagner's Die Walkuere. In other WNO productions, he has sung Count Loris Ipanov in Giordano's Fedora opposite Mirella Freni, Rodrigue in Massenet's Le Cid, and the title role of Mozart's Idomeneo with Anna Netrebko.

As a conductor, Domingo has led WNO productions of Verdi's Otello and Il Trovatore, and a special performance of Verdi's Requiem at Washington's historic Constitution Hall. He has also led the company in productions of Bizet's Carmen, Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and I Vespri Siciliani, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

Xiu Wei Sun

Soprano (Cio-Cio-San)

The Chinese soprano Xiu Wei Sun is a winner of Placido Domingo's Operalia competition, and is well-known for her portrayal of Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. She has performed the role with the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome, the German Opera in Berlin, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Pacific, and the Washington National Opera. She has also appeared in Washington in the title role of Puccini's Turandot. Other operas in Xiu Wei Sun's repertory include Giordano's Andrea Chénier, Puccini's Suor Angelica, Bellini's Norma, and Verdi's Il corsaro, Il trovatore, Macbeth and Attila. Her recent appearances include Madama Butterfly in Seville, Trieste, and Torre del Lago, and her debut as Abigail in Verdi's Nabucco at the Festival d'Opéra Avenches.

Arturo Chacón-Cruz

Tenor (Pinkerton)

The Mexican tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz made his Italian debut as Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna. His Spanish debut was as Christian in Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac with the Valencia Opera opposite Placido Domingo. Recent appearances include three Puccini roles: Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Connecticut Grand Opera, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut with Houston Grand Opera and Rodolfo in La Bohème with Utah Festival Opera. A 2005 winner of Placido Domingo's Operalia competition and a regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Chacón-Cruz is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, where he appeared in Madame Butterfly, Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Mozart's Idomeneo and the world premiere of Mark Adamo's Lysistrata, a production heard on NPR's World of Opera. Future engagements include his debut at the Teatro Regio in Torino, in the title role of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, and appearances as Arcadio in Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas with Cincinnati Opera and Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata with the Detroit Opera.