Floats Like A Butterfly, Sings Like Kiri

One Fine Day We Shall See – An aria in Act 2 of opera Madama Butterfly. A scene where Nagasaki girl Coi-Coi San misguidedly opines to sceptical maid Suzuki that, despite it being three years since last seeing her husband, her marriage remains strong.

As fragrant tree blossom cascades gently onto the women, Ms San relays her belief that one day her husband, an errant American naval lieutenant for whom she yearns, will once again return into her arms.

Unknown to Coi-Coi, though, her betrothed is a misogynistic chancer who sees this slender Asian beauty as nothing more than a passing fancy. Now residing back in the States, the rotund man, blond of hair and blue of eye deems their marriage as now annulled under Japanese law.

Subsequently, he’s married an all-American girl, with no intention of rekindling the spark he once shared with the Japanese girl. A light that once shone like a beacon over Nagasaki port.

Hmmmm…… A misogynistic, rotund, blond haired, blue eyed American with little regard for women……. Now where have I heard of someone that fits that description recently?

Wow…… That was an overly wordy build up for such a weak jibe at the leader of the free world!


I refer to a scene from Puccini’s opera for no other reason than attending the aforementioned performance yesterday evening.

The gag an epiphany that manifested itself whilst watching this poor girl (aged 15 on her wedding day) being tossed aside like a fly-tipped sofa by the selfish Lieutenant Pinkerton. Justifying the treading on Coi-Coi’s (aka Madame Butterfly) feelings by assuring the US consul that after a month apart, Japanese law deemed the marriage as over.

No bloody wonder my wife’s mum indoctrinated her daughters that all men are evil!!

I’m not going to spoil the ending for you and mention that Coi-Coi commits hari-kari when she finds out her feelings of love for Pinkerton aren’t reciprocated by the ball bearing b*st*rd (another of Karen’s mum expressions for the unfairer sex).

To clarify when I say ball bearing, despite him not displaying this, I’m referring to the fact Pinkerton had testicles. Not that he’d a link to the metallic spheres heavily used in engineering.

The production I attended last night was courtesy of Opera North. An accomplished provider of cultural entertainment, who do exactly what it says on the tin. This is the fourth opera I’ve seen performed by the group and, as with the others I’ve witnessed, I can categorically say last night’s effort was definitely in the top 5 of their productions I’ve been lucky enough to attend.

Seriously, though, what unfurled on the stage in front of the packed audience of the Leeds Grand Theatre was a majestic performance staged on it’s minimalist set.

Courtesy of subtitled translation on stage side screens and guess work on my part, the Italian arias, and thus the story, weren’t overly difficult to follow. Allowing me to summarise this splendid adaptation of a tragic everyday tale as follows:-

Boy meets girl;…….. Boy has his wicked way;…….. Boy runs for the hills after having his wicked way;…….. Girl naively thinks boy gives a chuff about her feelings;…….. Boy blames flexible Japanese marital laws for the situation;………. Japan blames boy for not being able to keep it in his trousers;……… The US consulate get involved;……… The US send a ship of sailors to the far East; ……… The girl dies;……… The boy swans off with his new bird to live happily until he gets bored and finds someone else. 

Grande prestazione Opera North!

Leave a Reply