The enduring spell of Miss Saigon

The enduring spell of Miss Saigon
Image: Miss Saigon 2023 by Opera Australia. Image: supplied

Just as Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly became one of the most beloved operas ever written, so too has Miss Saigon burrowed into the hearts of audiences around the world and rendered itself an eternal classic. 

Written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil as the follow-up to their phenomenally successful, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon is an epic tale of grit, turbulence, faith, betrayal, passion, and every manifestation of love. It debuted in London in 1989 and stayed on the marquee for a solid decade, inking itself into the record books as one of the longest running musicals of all time. 


Abigail Adriano (Kim) and Nigel Huckle (Chris) in rehearsals – Photo by David Hooley

With an equally enthusiastic reception in cities around the globe, Miss Saigon has remained in constant production for over three decades. In 2014, powerhouse producer, Cameron Mackintosh, reimagined Miss Saigon through a stunning new lens. The new production opened to packed houses and ecstatic critical acclaim in the West End and on Broadway.

This thrilling version of Miss Saigon is being presented by Opera Australia and will open at the Sydney Opera House in August. 

Laurence Mossman (Thuy) and Abigail Adriano (Kim) in rehearsals – Photo by David Hooley

“[Miss Saigon] is a powerful and moving story that looks at the complex nature of love, whilst set against the destruction and violence of war, and examining the aftermath it leaves. What I find particularly exciting is to see this story now told by a largely Australian cast – which will really showcase the depth of talent we have in this country,” said Opera Australia CEO Fiona Allan. 

“To bring this powerful and moving story to life, we’ve cast 42 of the most incredible performers, singers, dancers and acrobats from across Australia-Pacific who will undoubtedly capture the hearts and minds of audiences night after night.”

Seann Miley Moore (Engineer) in rehearsals – Photo by David Hooley

Based on Puccini’s 1904 opera, Madama Butterfly, Miss Saigon brings the story forward in time. Now set during the Vietnam War, it tells the story of Kim, a young Vietnamese woman working in a bar under the duress of the villainous Engineer. Into the bar walks handsome American GI, Chris Scott and Kim is immediately smitten. They have a passionate but brief romance before Chris is forced to leave with his platoon, unaware that he has impregnated Kim. A torturous, agonising physical and emotional three-year journey ensues as Kim attempts to unite her son with the father he has never known. 

Miss Saigon’s Australian cast will be led by Seann Miley Moore as the Engineer, Abigail Adriano as Kim, Nigel Huckle as Chris, Kerrie Anne Greenland as Ellen, Nick Afoa as John, Laurence Mossman as Thuy, and Kimberley Hodgson as Gigi.


With leading edge technology and inventive design, this new production of Miss Saigon has been described with breathless superlatives by critics: spectacular, thrilling, astounding, dynamite. 

Featuring the cinematic music of Claude-Michel Schönberg and witty, insightful lyrics by Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr, Miss Saigon’s score is exciting and poignant in equal measure. Expect stunning production for numbers including “The Heat is On in Saigon”, “The Movie in My Mind”, “Last Night of the World” and “American Dream”.

Do not miss this enthralling theatre experience. 

17 August to 13 October 2023

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

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