John Fiore, music director at Norwegian Opera and Ballet, had a crisis on his hands in the second act. Here’s how he coped:
At yesterday’s final Butterfly, our wonderful soprano, Hui He, became ill on stage right after the entrance, and we had to stop.
After a while, we determined that she was too weak to continue, and I decided to come up with a Plan B, since I thought we should do something for the audience. I figured that since Butterfly does not sing from the end of the second act until her entrance after Pinkerton leaves in Act 3, we could play the Humming Chorus, and Interlude, make a small cut for “Dormi, amor mio,” and then do the trio and “Addio, fiorito asil,” which we did. I made a speech in front of the curtain, and then went into the pit and explained to the orchestra what we were doing. The chorus came onstage and sang the Humming Chorus, and we proceeded.
All in all, a difficult day, but ultimately very well handled by the people of the DNOB who were there. I just hope that Hui feels better soon.