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Opera Cheat Sheet

Opera Cheat Sheet: Madama Butterfly

Our quick intro to Puccini’s beloved masterpiece, this week’s Saturday opera broadcast.



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In this week’s Opera Cheat Sheet, Houston Public Media’s Arts & Culture director St.John Flynn and opera expert Eric Skelly discuss Puccini’s 1904 drama Madama Butterfly, based on the play “Madame Butterfly” by David Belasco. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, in the early years of the twentieth century, it’s the story of the young, innocent Japanese geisha, Cio-Cio-San, and her fateful love for the “faithless” American naval lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton.

Tune in to hear Lyric Opera of Chicago’s broadcast of Madama Butterfly, starring Patricia Racette as Butterfly, Saturday at noon on Houston Public Media’s Classical 91.7.

[The musical excerpts are taken from a 1962 recording featuring Erich Leinsdorf conducting the RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra and Chorus with Leontyne Price singing Cio-Cio San and Richard Tucker as Pinkerton (RCA Victor 09026-68884-2)]