Madama Butterfly, a timeless tale of love, loss and devotion, is one of the world’s most popular operas. From New York City, to Rome and Finland, our globe-trotting Madama Butterfly artists have performed in opera houses and festivals around the world. We asked them to share their favourite stories, memories and behind-the-scenes tidbits from this beloved opera.
I had one of my most memorable Butterfly experiences when I was working, for the first time, with a certain singer notorious for slowing down the tempo in performances – but in rehearsals, this singer asked me not to slow down his part. When it came time for the performance, the Concertmaster (who had known this singer for years) asked me if I was sure about keeping the quicker tempo. I replied confidently, “Of course! Rehearsals have been going well!” But when the performance started, the singer was in a completely different world, singing his part much slower and making it impossible to go at the speed we’d rehearsed. When I looked down at the pit, I received a beautiful, knowing smile from the orchestra. These things are part of the fun of opera!
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Go behind the scenes with us as we discover the COC's classic production of one of the world's best loved operas, Madama Butterfly. This Inside Opera instalment features rehearsal footage and interviews with sopranos Kelly Kaduce and Patricia Racette, conductor Patrick Lange, and director Brian Macdonald.
Madama Butterfly plays for 12 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts from October 10 to 31.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001