Leighton Buzzard theatre school pupil stars in Madama Butterfly


A Leighton Buzzard theatre school student will be transporting audiences to the hills of Japan, as he has landed an important role in the opera, Madama Butterfly.

Isaac Baker, four, who attends Stagecoach Performing Arts, will be playing the character of Sorrow at the Grove Theatre this Sunday (April 15), in what will be his first professional part.



The young actor was selected from the drama school to star in the production, and will appear opposite Maria Hee Jung Kim from the National Opera, Seoul, Korea, who plays the tragic Cio-Cio San.

Isaac’s mother, Rebecca, said: “Isaac is very excited, although I’m not sure he’s quite grasped how big the size of the Grove Theatre stage is!

“I think he likes people watching him - he likes the applause. He’s a bit of a drama queen in the nicest possible way! I think he’s quite good at following instructions and hopefully he will be good under direction.

“They are taking him through the role on Sunday before the performance.”

Isaac’s grandmother, Lesley, will also be coming along to see the show with his parents, and Isaac’s father, Joe, described his son as being thrilled to be in “his first acting role in a professional opera”.

Being only four, Rebecca says he is still into Thomas the Tank Engine and Cars, but that he may well get the theatre bug as he grows older.

She said: “My husband and I are much more that way inclined than football - taking him to Stagecoach is preferable to standing out on a Saturday morning watching a freezing football match!”

Ellen Kent Productions wanted to make the show a “community affair”, so they asked Stagecoach Leighton Buzzard to supply the child to play Sorrow, as well as other children, to “take part and experience the joy of treading the boards themselves”.

But audience, be warned - you had better bring some tissues!

“Tragic” Cio-Cio San is seduced and deserted by a scheming American Lieutenant named Pinkerton; however, after being shunned by her family and friends, Cio-Cio San names her child Sorrow, ever hopeful that Pinkerton will return so she can rename the child Joy.

But when Pinkerton finally does return with his new American wife, will Cio-Cio San be able to forgive his betrayal?

Ellen Kent Productions said: “Madama Butterfly is Puccini’s popular tale on which the hit West End musical Miss Saigon is based. One of the world’s most popular operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly tells the heart-breaking story of the beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant – with dramatic results.

“Highlights include the melodic Humming Chorus, the moving aria One Fine Day and the unforgettable Love Duet.”

Ellen herself added: “My operas have to be emotional and beautiful.”

Isaac has been rehearsing the role with his drama school.

The performance starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets: https://www.grovetheatre.co.uk/events/madama-butterfly/