Japanese Melodies in Madama Butterfly
Just in time to help you prepare for Nashville Opera’s MADAME BUTTERFLY, Tom Potter and friends present an updated version of an Opera Club talk that Tom gave in 2006. Giacomo Puccini used at least 10 authentic Japanese songs in his opera. Tom and friends play these songs, discuss their background, and show how Puccini used them in high-impact moments in the opera—including the aria “Un bel di,” and the shatteringly tragic closing scene of the opera. The presentation includes video from the Mirella Freni/Plácido Domingo DVD of Madama Butterfly.
Since his earlier talk, Tom has uncovered new information about Austrian musician Rudolf Dittrich, who taught western music in Tokyo in the 1890s at the invitation of the Japanese government. Puccini learned some of his melodies for Butterfly from Japanese song books that Dittrich published after returning to Austria. It turns out that Dittrich, like Lt. Pinkerton in Puccini’s opera, left behind a Japanese wife and son when he sailed away from Japan! Tom will tell this fascinating story in his talk.
About Opera Club
Opera for everyone! For those not familiar with The Opera Club, there are no expertise standards, dues or membership requirements, other than a desire to learn more about opera, to share your interest with other opera lovers, and to enjoy great music. Meetings are held on five Sunday afternoons 2:30–5 p.m. during the opera season in the new home of Nashville Opera, The Noah Liff Opera Center.
Meetings are casual and the programs are conducted by a person who volunteers to present. Sometimes two or three people get together and pool their interests and resources to present a program Audio/visual equipment is available.
Those attending may bring simple, light refreshments to share if they wish, although this is not necessary. It is more important to come prepared to experience some beautiful music, meet and socialize with good people of like interests, share opera experiences, and have a great time. Please add the following dates to your calendar, and plan to join us. To be notified of The Opera Club activities, e-mail me at the address below.
Volunteers are needed to present programs for the remaining open meetings. If you have an opera(s) or opera theme, or an opera-related area of interest that you’d like to share and present at a meeting, please contact me to discuss it.
See you at the opera.