Puccini’s Madama Butterfly has been a favorite of opera-goers for over a century. It premiered in 1904 (unsuccessfully), was revised, and became a hit later that year. It’s kept its position as a fan-favorite ever since.
Butterfly is the tragic story of a lover’s triangle made up of a young Japanese girl (Cio-Cio-san, or Butterfly as she is called), a US Navy officer (Lieutenant Pinkerton), and an American girl, Kate. The aria, Un bel di (One fine day) is one of the most famous in all opera – its beauty and tragedy guaranteed to move the audience to tears. Want to hear/see it sung? Click here: Un bel di
At Cotton and Silk’s heart is a love triangle, too, with Eri (a young Japanese woman), Nik (a US Navy officer), and Deb, his girl back home in Nebraska. Of course, my triangle is an inversion of Puccini’s.
Readers familiar with MB will find homages to the opera in C&S. Some are obvious, like Nik’s nickname for Deb, which is Butterfly. Some are more subtle. If you know something about MB, keep your eyes peeled as you read and you’ll find them like little treats along the way.