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Madama Butterfly

The Humming Chorus

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Patricia Racette


Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is often called the best opera ever written. Set in 1904 in Japan, it tells the story of United States Naval Officer Pinkerton, who rents a house in Nagasaki and marries Cio-Cio San, a young Japanese girl, who he intends to abandon when his tour of duty is finished.

This scene, while technically not an aria, takes place as Butterfly awaits the return of Pinkerton, with their son. As the chorus performs the Humming Chorus in the background, Butterfly tends lovingly to her son, who in this production is played by a wooden puppet.

This is one of the few scenes in the opera where the puppet handlers are visible, and their artistry is amazing. Overall, this production of Madama Butterfly is breathtaking. From the opening notes of Puccini’s musical masterpiece, to the closing curtain, The sets shimmer along with the music.

Jessica Knight

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