The Atlanta Opera is currently rehearsing a production of Madama Butterfly. I have to defer to my husband, as he is clearly the expert in this area. In fact, I only know a little more about it than you, probably. And I only say that because I think most of the people who visit me here probably know nothing about opera, and I know something.
I haven’t exactly been able to see an opera. I’ve only heard all or almost all of two operas (though I’ve heard lots of tenor arias from others): La Bohème and Madama Butterfly. My husband likes the former, and he ought to know. But I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the latter. You see, the first time I fell asleep in my husband’s arms, he was telling me the story of Madama Butterfly, almost whispering at times, singing softly at others. Then, I went into labor with Maggie the first time my husband showed me his videotaped version of Butterfly. There is something about that story and about the music that really speaks to me, and I guess you don’t have to be an opera expert to feel that way.
If I ever get a tattoo — and that’s a big if, since I’m not sure I’ve got the courage — it would be a butterfly on my left shoulder in honor of Madama Butterfly.
This evening, my husband sat studying his music while he listened to a CD of the opera — this one, in fact. He held Dylan close and rocked him while the Humming Chorus played. It was perhaps one of the most beautiful, tender things I’ve ever witnessed. And Dylan loved the music.
I hope he’ll always love the music.
Giacomo Puccini and Madama Butterfly