The Birth of Butterfly through WWII: The First 50 years
The Butterfly Process: Discussion Series • 1h 25m
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 contextualize these themes to frame a community discussion.
About The Butterfly Discussion Process Series:
BLO has engaged Phil Chan, co-founder and author of Final Bow for Yellowface, as a partner in developing and facilitating this discussion series, including interviews and panel discussions with guest speakers, artists, and scholars that address issues presented by Madama Butterfly.
The discussion sessions will be structured with concentric circles of participation to create space for both active participants and listeners. The first circle, forming each discussion’s center, includes invited experts who will speak to the session’s main topic; the second circle includes artists in discussion and in response. The third circle invites BLO’s broader community and audience to listen and reflect.
The discussion series topics were informed by brainstorming and preparing sessions held with the BLO Staff, the principal artists, Asian Opera Alliance with feedback from the BLO DEI Council, BLO-Union Joint IDEA Committee, and from our community, and will include participants from the following groups:
Original cast members for Madama Butterfly, and other BLO artists past, present, and future
BLO Staff and Board
Boston arts and cultural community members
Guest speakers and presenters
Partners and collaborators from the greater opera community
BLO Community and Audience
For more information about our moderator, featured speaker, and the discussion series, visit https://blo.org/butterfly-process/
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Up Next in The Butterfly Process: Discussion Series
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 cult...
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...
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...