“LOVE CHANGES ALL. NOT ALWAYS FOR THE BETTER.”
Quoting from Crystal Manich’s Program Notes,
“Madama Butterfly is one of the world’s most popular operas, yet one of the most misunderstood. One of the main reasons for this is ignorance of a history that is specific only to Japan at the turn of the 20th century. For over 200 years, Japan lived an isolated existence from the rest of the world. Once its ports were reopened in 1859, however, foreign naval officers began arriving in droves and with them enough money to engage in “Japanese marriages,” which involved purchasing a wife (usually a geisha) and a house for an amount of time that depends on the man’s situation. The convenience of being so far removed from the Western world made their actions free of their familial or societal constraints or judgments.”
“Cio-Cio San (Butterfly) is one such geisha, being sold to the American Naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. He behaves as any other officer in Nagasaki cira 1900 would: he’s young, away from home for the first time, and is being encouraged by the system to take a wife and a house for as long as they suit him. . .and for a good price. While most women in her situation would have understood the terms of the marriage, Cio-Cio San is ignorant of them, it is a trait that forms the core of what makes the opera a tragic one.”
I have listed some of the English translated quotes from the opera that I found beautiful. I hope in the future I can take a photograph to represent these quotes.
Springs like a tow’r from nowhere,
complete from base to attic. Comes and goes as by magic!
A smile conquers all, and defies
ev’ry trouble. Pearls may be won by smiling;
Smiles can open the portals
The perfume of the Gods,
the fountain of Life,
Fair as a garland
of fragrant flowers. Brighter
than a star in the heavens
Quotes from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Visit Frickr Comments by FrizzText to see other entries for the “tagged “M” challenge here.
Photos were taken of the cover and back inside page of my program guide along with some editing in Photoshop. Original cover photo: campaign by Creme Fraiche Design. Retouching: Dave Bernhardt: Photo: David Bachman
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!