The Butterfly Process: Discussion Series
The Butterfly Process Discussion Series is an opportunity for community learning and dialogue led by Phil Chan with invited featured speakers, guests, and cast members from BLO's previously planned production of Madama Butterfly. Each discussion will tackle a different topic, giving context, sharing scholarship, stories, and insights that focus and frame the discussion.
The Birth of Butterfly through WWII: The First 50 years
This first discussion focuses on the essential questions to ground us in the work of Madama Butterfly, including the socio-political context during the time of its premiere and how that changed during and after World War II. Phil Chan will join Dr. Kunio Hara, a preeminent Puccini scholar, to con...
Orientalism and Cultural Appropriation
Orientalism & Cultural Appropriation focuses on learning and engaging with how Orientalism has influenced Western European Art and by extension, how Eurocentric art—and Madama Butterfly specifically—has defined, perpetuated, and reinforced specific and narrow attitudes of AAPI people and cultures...
Impact on Artists & Audiences
The Impact on Artists & Audiences centers the experience of opera artists and explores the complex, sometimes conflicting relationship many have to Madama Butterfly, both as a gateway to opera and a work that has typecast many AAPI singers. Artists will explore ways in which opera productions can...
Symbolism & Archetypes of Women
Symbolism & Archetypes of Women explores the cultural context of geisha in Japan as it relates to the character of Cio–Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, and how depictions of this character have perpetuated sexualized stereotypes of Asian and AAPI women in American culture. Phil Chan will lead the con...
Casting the Roles
The Casting the Roles discussion session unpacks the nuances within ongoing industry conversations surrounding appropriate casting and performance practices. Constructive dialogue explores culturally sensitive, inclusive, and responsive practices that center the story being told, who is telling t...
Learning and Sharing
In Learning & Sharing we share with our community and the industry what we learned and where we are going from here—both specifically for the opera Madama Butterfly and more broadly, outlining action and steps BLO is taking to become a multiracial opera company. Phil Chan will lead the conversati...