Boston bans Madam Butterfly, pending ‘racist’ review

Boston bans Madam Butterfly, pending ‘racist’ review

News

norman lebrecht

November 17, 2021

Under the headline After Shelving “Butterfly,” BLO Launches Public Phase In Examination of the Opera, Boston’s Lyric Opera has begun what it calls ‘a process’ to make Puccini’s opera safe once again for performance.

Just read theoh-so-reasonable press release below.

Imagine if these energies were invested in making opera instead of yakking about it.

BOSTON — November 17, 2021 — Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) announced today the public phase of “The Butterfly Process,” its comprehensive exploration of how historic operas like Puccini’s Madama Butterfly can be presented more thoughtfully and inclusively in contemporary times. By bringing together the cast of its planned 2021 production along with other artists, company staff and scholars for a series of public conversations, BLO will create an artist-centered dialogue about the challenges of presenting traditional operas, as well as public resources for opera companies who produce them.

The project was born in the wake of BLO’s decision to take Madama Butterfly off its current season, following COVID delays and after a rise in anti-Asian violence earlier this year. In announcing postponement of the production, BLO’s Stanford Calderwood Acting General & Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter said the company would embark on a year-long process to reflect, listen and engage thoughtfully and responsibly with the modern cultural implications of Butterfly.

Puccini’s melodic, emotional and widely popular work is a mainstay of the traditional opera repertoire. But Vernatter says the opera has a complicated history that needs examination and contextualization today. Issues of cultural appropriation, racial and gender stereotypes, and the wide-ranging impact on Asian artists are among the topics to be addressed in “The Butterfly Process.” BLO engaged artist and advocate Phil Chan as a partner in developing the project, facilitating its core discussion series and participating in documentation of its outcomes. Chan is co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface, which works to eliminate outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians in the performing arts.

“The Butterfly Process” began earlier this year alongside other internal diversity, equity and inclusion-based work. The project continues with six monthly discussions about Madama Butterfly, starting in December and including two public town-hall-style events, plus a performance with artists from the postponed Butterfly featuring music curated by BLO Artistic Advisor Vimbayi Kaziboni and directed by Emerging Artist alumna Melanie Bacaling….

 

Comments

  • PS says:

    The Butterfly Process is the Kafka sequel you’ve been waiting for.

  • Anon says:

    I’m glad they’re doing this.
    Madame Butterfly has always been an extremely dangerous opera and it needs to be made safer.
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if opera goers were responsible for most of the recent violent attacks on Asians.

  • Anonymous says:

    The Revisionists are coming!
    The Revisionists are coming!

  • Matt D says:

    The anti-Asian violence has been committed mainly by Leftists, most of them Black Leftists. Certainly not by opera lovers or anybody who might appreciate Madame Butterfly.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      @Matt D: Sorry, you’re not allowed to tell the truth.

    • BP says:

      Ping, meet Pang.

    • Harry Dahlsjo says:

      Citation please.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Authoritarianism is in the Left’s DNA. Think Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot and those frightful dictators from South America. Then there’s North Korea. ‘

      Hang on; it’s all about FAIRNESS, isn’t it???!!!

      • V. Lind says:

        Oh, those non-authoritarians like Pinochet, Gualtieri, Stroessner, Batista, Duvalier, Trujillo, Somoza, Noriega, etc.?

        And there was nothing authoritarian in Europe from Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, among others.

        Dictators and totalitarians are not party animals, and the delusion by western leftists that communist regimes represented the left was exposed decades ago.

    • Malcolm James says:

      The Pavlovian response to blame the left for everything is quite astonishing. Racist violence of all types is committed by the right, but I agree that they are most unlikely to be opera lovers either.

    • Sidelius says:

      A huge, sweeping assertion, hugely questionable on it’s face, with zero evidence offered of any kind. Racism, including against Asians, is contrary to liberalism, as anyone who knows any
      history would know. Your statement is absurd. I suggest you read the book What Liberals Believe edited by William Martin. For starters.

    • Sidelius says:

      The Sidelius comment below responds to Matt D and Sue Sonata Form.

    • Keith Silverman says:

      The only people who ‘care’ about orientals are the Leftist white males in Silicon Valley. They are cheap, smart labor for big tech. That’s why H1B visas are so critical to them as opposed to hiring American college educated workers who live there.

      Auspiciously, nobody from the leftist Klan calls on Africa for labor or goods.

      The left uses every race when they need something.

    • Ainslie says:

      And you know this . . . how?

    • BrianB says:

      Anon was being sarcastic quasi-satirical. Don’t worry about it. Otherwise you are correct.

  • justsaying says:

    Has anybody in this discussion pointed out that the most pointed racial caricature in Madama Butterfly is that of the oblivious and loutish American sailor? He is portrayed as cruelly indifferent to the feelings and fate of Cio-Cio San both before and after their “marriage.” And his indifference is underlined in specific references to his American-ness.

    But of course that would take attentive reading/listening….

  • Michael Varcoe-Cocks says:

    This “Butterfly Project” seems designed from the outset to be leading to the only “safe” solution: a concert performance with the singers wearing masks or behind a screen. To stop any controversy about diversity theatres will have to build Bayreuth-style cowls for the orchestra. Curtains calls will need to be banned to avoid the unpleasant sexist and racist dangers inherent in allowing any audience members to express their reactions. By the way, a conventional production of Butterfly already inherently exposes for any remotely aware spectator all the “cultural appropriation, racial and gender stereotypes” that the “Butterfly Project” thinks it will unearth!

    • Ruby Yacht says:

      Butterfly will have to be sung by either a countertenor or an mtf “castrato.”

    • Giacomo says:

      It’s designed from the outset to generate publicity and sell tickets. Puccini’s opera is going nowhere. But it does need, as it always has but rarely gets, a great, great conductor to hold it together. If only Carlos Kleiber’s performances had been recorded!

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      It’s all hideously reminiscent of the Bolsheviks and Mao’s ‘cultural revolution’. The dangerous gulls promulgating this stuff are stupid and know no history.

      Get your filthy, barbarian hands off our opera (in Yosemite Sam voice). You want us all to be ‘good little Germans’ and eat our ideological greens? That’ll be the day (in John Wayne voice).

      • Michael McGrath says:

        Wonderful of you to inject some humor into this sad, surreal exchange!!

      • Minutewaltz says:

        ‘It’s all hideously reminiscent of the Bolsheviks and Mao’s ‘cultural revolution’. The dangerous gulls promulgating this stuff are stupid and know no history’

        They are thoroughly enjoying their power and seeing those in charge of opera houses and theatres cringingly obey their diktats.

    • Jim C says:

      Yeah, I love this idea that they need to have an examination of it.

  • This is why PC should not be applied to things of the imagination – especially artistic. Madame Butterfly is in part an examination of the different worlds of East and West – but taken as a form of poetry whose metaphors are about the nature of love – and not only one kind of love, but (one can see in this) three of the four loves of the Greeks.

  • Gus says:

    I can’t even read it, I despair.

  • PeterB says:

    So now even discussion is forbidden. Slipped Disc sinks ever further into the fanaticism it claims to criticize in others.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      What are you talking about? Nobody is banning discussion on Slippedisc.com. Withdraw your drunken comment or leave the site.

    • Michael McGrath says:

      What are you talking about? ALL views are welcome here. You may not like some of them, people may disagree with you, but that’s no reason to despair or commit harikiri.

  • Matt D says:

    I suggest all singers wear plastic Groucho Glasses to avoid offending anybody.

  • Morgan says:

    Perhaps opportunistic with the election of the new Mayor of Boston.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    I’ve lost count of all the reasons for never returning to the USA.

  • V. Lind says:

    Let me see: the version I saw was, at its most basic, a story about an American soldier stationed in Japan who married a girl he fancied because he knew it would be easy to divorce her. He leaves, promising to come back, leaving her (unaware to him) with child. Three years later, he returns, with an American wife, leans about the kid, who agrees to raise the child, bottles telling Butterfly, who, in despair, prepares to sacrifice her child to the couple and kills herself.

    The girl is an innocent, sincerely in love. Her maid tries at every turn to help her. There are some people with agendas, but the baddie is the faithless American.

    It’s a STORY, a simple one upon which the opera is built, as is true in so many cases. Are there stereotypes? Well, suicide is more prevalent in Japan than in many other countries — I lived there briefly at one time, and met several people with suicides in their immediate families. I did not know the victims, if that is the right word; my mystification was with the philosophical manner in which the family members accepted it. Knowing a suicide a lot closer to home, I know it destroyed the life of his brother, my friend. So a suicide in a story set in Japan was not in any way a racist trope. Opera is laden with suicides in European characters.

    That a woman in 1904 might have been submissive to a man is hardly atypical.

    That an American soldier or sailor abroad might take advantage of a local girl is hardly an unknown story.

    So the only issue, it would seem to me, is the bloody make-up again. And if these people keep it up, we are heading for a world in which no black or Asian singer or actor need bother auditioning for Tosca or La Boheme or La Traviata or Lucia. Has to cut both ways, matey. If I took exception to one black singer among a group of white men in Lucia, I would be very wrong if he had the right voice for it. And if you can cast a full Madama Butterfly in the west with Japanese singers, by all means go for it. But in the meantime, could we just go with the best we have?

    Memo to BLO: It is OPERA. It is MUSIC. Just cast the best singers you can find. Get over this crap.

  • anmarie says:

    This is the Age of Insanity.

  • Philip Kraus says:

    Leave these classics alone. One must accept them in their historical context. These attempts are misguided and a waste of time. Frankly, with what passes for opera stagings these days, I’ll stay home and listen to Butterfly on CD.

  • Freewheeler says:

    Just ban everything, and humanity can joyfully rediscover it all in two hundred years when people are normal again.

  • John says:

    Actually there never was any evidence that there was a rise in anti Asian violence. You probably don’t know that since the media hasn’t bothered to issue a correction. But hey…. those stories did get lots of clicks. https://reason.com/2021/10/19/nartional-crime-victimization-survey-asian-american-violence/

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Just speak with some of your Asian friends. They will tell you a very different story. Not an easy topic to broach, but your reading of such “research” will be forever changed.

  • John says:

    No one is forcing someone who doesn’t like Madame Butterfly to go see it. Personally I find a rap truly to be a bunch of misogynistic tripe. I suppose the rap community could undertake a comprehensive exploration of how to make it “safe” for me. Or, I could just not go to rap concerts…..maybe I’ll go see Madame B. instead.

    • Karl says:

      You don’t understand the point John. Butterfly shouldn’t be seen by anyone because it corrupts people’s minds and makes then hate Asians.

  • Ruby Yacht says:

    How offensive, and I am a member of at least two certified minorities.

  • Y says:

    “Chan is co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface, which works to eliminate outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians in the performing arts.”

    So another far-left political agitator. We are living through another Cultural Revolution. This will not end well.

  • JB says:

    Puccinis music for Madama Butterfly is pure genius, but the libretto has no artistic value. In my opinion, it would be best to completely replace it and choose a different story altogether. Would be an interesting task for a young playwright. After all, many modern productions already show another story on stage than the one told by Illica/Giacosa. So let’s go one step further in that direction and replace the words. One might imagine many reasons for a chorus to hum.

    • V. Lind says:

      I still remember a schooldays friend of mine giving an interview to the paper when she was about 17 talking about the impact Madama Butterfly, which she saw by a visiting company in a souped-up high school auditorium or converted cinema or some such, made on her young life.

      She went on to have a career that involved her heavily with the Canadian Opera Company.

      I suspect that when she had seen it, it was that story that affected her.

      I took a foreign friend, with no exposure to western music, or any other western high culture, to Madama Butterfly in a fine opera house and in a fine production. She was utterly transfixed by it, and still counts it among the most unforgettable experiences of her life. (For me, it was a teenage first Turandot that sealed the deal for me as an opera-lover for life).

      • The View from America says:

        I heard the same type of story from a friend — although in that case it was Korngold’s “Die Tote Stadt”. I can understand the pull of both.

      • Karl says:

        Turandot is the one that turned me into an opera fan too. No wonder I’m such a raging hater now. Turandot corrupted my mind!

  • Herbie G says:

    I wondered: is this really true, or am I just having a bad dream?

    Then I realised that this was the USA, where, during the past 100 years or so, they banned liquor, where black people were lynched, where they had Senator McCarthy’s legalised persecutions, where black people had to give up their seats on buses to white people, where the KKK is perfectly legal, where all they could come up with as presidential candidates were Sleepy Joe and a deranged megalomaniac, where carrying guns around in public places is a jealously-guarded human right and where artists like Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson had to enter the theatres where they performed through the tradesmen’s entrances because they were black.

    This utter b****cks over banning Butterfly is par for the course in the Land of the Free. The perpetrators are a neat juxtaposition of Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union.

    The upside of this means that I can now enjoy the same frisson of guilty pleasure when listening to Butterfly as the American during the prohibition had when sipping a glass of Jack Daniels. I have a recording it I picked up for £3.00 when trawling through a second-hand CD shop and I shall listen to it in the morning. But hang on – Leontyne Price is cast as Butterfly! Is this cultural appropriation? If it is, I shall get a double frisson. Can anyone comment on that recording?

  • pvl says:

    I wonder what BLO means by “curated music”…

  • Get Over It says:

    Can the Othello Process be far behind?

  • phf655 says:

    They say that Puccini is more popular, and beloved, in the USA, than over the pond. Perhaps it would have been better to write that Butterfly is ‘wildly’ popular, instead of ‘widely’ popular.
    This is so sad. For me Cio-cio-San (Butterfly) is the most sympathetic and three dimensional character in all of opera. Usually the last half hour of the opera is performed to the accompaniment of sobs from the audience, even at the Metropolitan Opera!
    The main issue for these cretins is probably ‘cultural appropriation’, one of the mindless pseudo-concepts of the hour. In other words, the opera is suspect because an Asian composer and librettist didn’t think of this first.

  • Marge O. says:

    What a bad joke the US empire was and is.

  • Neil says:

    Unbelievably stupid. I like Puccini, and I don’t require historic guidance to experience it.

  • Tamino says:

    Question: Is presenting roles that depict people of the past, in a way that is historically correct, ‚as it was‘, wrong?

    Y/N?

    If yes, why?

    If yes, do you believe, people today are generally unable to understand a role in its obvious historical context of a traditional libretto and think they are shown the present instead of the past?

    If yes, please mark on a scale from 1 to 10, from stupid, to extremely stupid, how stupid you believe people generally are, being unable to understand the difference between the past and the present.

  • Great job of pulling reactionaries out of the woodwork. Ignorant bigotry exposed.

    Rebecca Brown summarizes the problems with the opera well:

    “Madame Butterfly is problematic because it’s about buying a 15-year-old for sex, and because it portrays an Asian female as childlike (“a little toy” her temporary husband calls her), and because the whole culture—Japanese and American—seems to go along with it all. The 15-year-old Butterfly/Cio-Cio-San’s poverty-stricken family is overjoyed that she gets to marry a rich American; after all, the rich get richer and get away with it, the poor get poorer and die. This story is troubling in terms of politics, race, feminism, and just plain worldview.”

    Nothing to think about and discuss, eh?

    Brown’s article about the opera is here for any SD readers who might like to consider other perspectives:

    https://www.thestranger.com/theater/2017/08/09/25335229/puccinis-problematic-madame-butterfly

    • V. Lind says:

      Why do you think Ibsen’s play is called “A Doll’s House”? Should we be cancelling Ibsen, too, because a Norwegian husband treated his wife like a toy, or is it okay if you set it in your own homeland?

      This is rich coming from a culture whose most widely-used term of “endearment” by men of women is “baby.”

    • Adrienne says:

      “Nothing to think about and discuss, eh?”

      Having self-righteously dismissed those with opposing viewpoints in your first paragraph?

    • MWnyc says:

      Except that

      1) the American who “buys” the 15-year-old (not precisely the way it happens) is the villain — indeed, he’s considered one of the biggest villains in the standard repertoire

      2) the entire culture, Japanese and American, does not go along with it: every Japanese person in the opera other than Cio-Cio-San and Suzuki is opposed to her marriage to Pinkerton and wants her to wed the prince they’ve arranged a marriage with instead (so much for Butterfly being a submissive Asian female), and the symbol of conventional America, Sharpless, is against the Pinkerton-Butterfly union as well

      3) Cio-Cio-san’s poverty-stricken family is not overjoyed to see her marry the rich American; they want her to marry the rich local

      4) the fact that, in this case, the “rich” American (no evidence that he’s actually wealthy) gets away with it and the poor female suffers, gets poorer, and dies is considered to be a tragedy (and an outrage as well, except that Butterfly, being a stubborn teenager, insists on going through with it).

      • Bet says:

        My, my, what a selective reading with such blinders on!

        1) “American who ‘buys’ the 15-year-old (not precisely the way it happens)”

        No indeed, it’s WORSE, he LEASES her MONTHLY, because she COMES with the house (along with 3 servants), and while his lease is for 999 years it is renewable every month.

        2) “every Japanese person in the opera … is opposed to her marriage”

        Not. They all attend her wedding, friends and relatives alike, and they only renounce her when her uncle shows up to tell everyone that she had converted to Christianity.

        Converting a character’s religion in a play/opera is rare and shocking, akin to Shylock’s conversion.

        3) family “wants her to wed the prince they’ve arranged a marriage with”

        There was no arranged marriage, the prince came as an interested suitor in Act 2 brought by the sinister Goro, the guy responsible for leasing her out on a monthly basis along with the house in the first place.

        Plus, she was still MARRIED with a CHILD, and neither Japanese nor American culture at the time would’ve looked on such a divorce (assuming it was even possible at the time) and re-marriage with approval, not for the “harlot wife”, not for the “bastard mongrel child”.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Behaving more and more like the Bolsheviks and Mao supporters every day of the week. And, yeah, these two had the absolute best intentions in the world for dealing with ‘discrimination’. It’s just that they ran out of body bags.

  • bet says:

    This is how I”d reimagine Butterfly:

    After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese annexed Hawaii and occupied the West Coast of the U.S., rounding up all resisting white Americans in internment camps in Oregon.

    A Japanese naval officer arrives in Souther California and marries a destitute15 year old white girl with flowing blond hair and blue eyes, who was disowned by her strict Lutheran pastor uncle.

    He deflowers her on their wedding night and then goes back to Japan. A few years later, he returns with his Japanese wife to honor-kill his white wife with his ancestral sword, because a white woman can only bring shame to a Japanese household.

  • Jim C. says:

    Banned in Boston again, eh?

    Remember when that tagline was a joke? Just once I’d love to hear one of these artists say, “Screw you. I don’t WANT to make what I’m doing inclusive!

  • Michael McGrath says:

    Boston bans beastly Butterfly! Best we call in Oliver Cromwell and get his advice on how to rid the world of all vestiges of the allegedly disrespectful in history, music included, in reality…in dreams, in literature and painting.
    There will be nothing left.

  • Stuart Laughton says:

    If you like the opera now, you’re going to love it after all this.

  • Brian says:

    Utter nonsense.

  • HAMILTON MCCLYMONT says:

    Harry Whittier was an English professor (one of the most interesting) when I was at Dalhousie more than fifty years ago. Before turning to academia, he had been a Lt Commander in the US Navy. We once had an interesting talk about Madam Butterfly. While he was serving in the Mediterranean, he attended a performance of Butterfly with a Russian emigre acquaintance. After the performance, over a drink, the Russian started to weep. “What’s wrong?”, Whittier asked. “The Russian sobbed, “Pinkerton, that sonofabitch!” Harry thought both the opera and the Russian were silly. I suppose Russian emotion is another cultural assumption we’ll have to take care about. Bravo Sierra!

  • “following COVID delays and after a rise in anti-Asian violence earlier this year.”

    On March 23, 2020, the new york times engineered its own anti-Asian violence hate crime hoax, which was aimed at President Trump and his supporters, and which I thoroughly debunked eight days later. The hoax was apparently an election tactic. (Virtually all hate crimes against Asians were being committed by racist blacks.)

    This blo campaign is completely Orwellian. It is not “artist-centered,” and it is not about “listening.” It is about terrorizing art-lovers, and picking the taxpayers’ pockets. The racial socialists in question must be shut out of taxpayer money, and opera-lovers must withhold all support from the blo, and all similarly infiltrated organizations.

  • Karl says:

    They should put on more black opera like Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” That shows black people to be a bunch of pedos and rapists but it’s black so it’s all good.

  • Steven Larsen says:

    Isn’t exposing racism and misogynyt the ENTIRE POINT of the opera?
    Has anyone ever sat through a performance and not understood this?

  • Ernest says:

    Are Americans so ignorant that everything has to be whitewashed for them? Can’t they see that this is just a story and that not all American men are callous or all Asian women are virtuous? There is no end to this whitewashing. Today opera, tomorrow movies, the day after books? E strano!

    • Stephen says:

      No, we are not. However, many Americans feel cowed by the mobs and fear reprisal for even the most honest, yet innocent opinions. Opera companies are buried under avalanches of hate mail from organized efforts. And since in the US funding is mostly private, losing some major donors is the greatest fear.

  • Andrea says:

    “Madama Butterfly” is a wonderfully crafted commentary against imperialism and colonialism.

    People wanting to censore it because of “racism”, clearly have understood nothing.

    • Stephen says:

      The original version of B’fly teems with racial slams. However, the final, Paris version is devoid of overt comments. Many families have drunken uncles and religious zealots, etc

  • Bernard Jacobson says:

    Forgive me if this seems irrelevant or merely silly, but speaking of cultural preconceptions, I have to plead guilty. Why is it that the unfailing good sense and temperate expression of V. Lind’s opinions compel me to think of the person holding them as female? And would it as a consequence of my prejudice be not at all preposterous to suggest (leaving such historical figures as Lucrezia Borgia and Poppaea for the moment out of account) that if El Sistema had been founded and guided by a woman, it would surely have remained free from the repellent features now convincingly attributed to it?

  • Stephen says:

    By canceling the B’fly, it is almost an admission of insufficient funds and using this as an alternative saddens me. Times are hard in the opera world and this might be one way to save a million dollars. And that’s about what it costs today.

    • Michael Varcoe-Cocks says:

      The more I think about I wonder if Boston only programmed Butterfly with the intention of withdrawing it and expecting “woke” praise for replacing it by the “Butterfly Process” in the hope of unearthing the “cultural appropriation, racial and gender stereotypes” that is plainly there for anyone see!

  • Anna Yu says:

    What nonsense! How does Boston decide what offends the Japanese and what doesn’t?! Please note, all this crap is constantly happening in the USA or in the UK. These guys are always deciding for the whole world who and how should think, who and what should be offended. Recently, somewhere in Scotland, there was outrage about Chinese and Arabic dancing in the Nutcracker. What does the Shotladians have to do with China? The characters were not offensive, but conveyed the characteristic features of the culture of these peoples, in accordance with their traditions. Tchaikovsky’s Chinese was the most ordinary traditional Chinese, as they were in the 19th century, and Arabic dances are still popular. And yes! They are erotic! As for the story of Chio Chio San, it was not a stormy fantasy of the authors. Similar stories really happened. And there is nothing better than this Puccini opera to tell about it and make people understand and sympathize with the characters. The world isn’t made up of pink ponies, damn it! It’s complicated. This witch hunt has already crossed all the boundaries of reason. When will these fucking experts in interethnic and intersex relations cancel themselves???? Will there be an end to this stupid ignorance?!

  • George says:

    This is a wonderful way to kill the genre. Instead of speaking about how wonderful Puccini’s music is, they do everything to make people think that this is an oh-so-problematic work.
    Message: Please don’t go and enjoy yourself.

  • Maria says:

    Here we go again! The Pearl Fishers next!

  • jack hayes says:

    To this day the best Madame Butterfly I ever heard live (and it was stunning) was sung by Martina Arroyo. How would they deal with that?

  • John Gingrich says:

    Having attended a couple of Sarah Caldwell–directed Butterflys in the 80s in Boston, I remember fondly the tenor I represented being booed at the curtain calls — a great moment of acknowledgement for a job well done.

  • August Sixty says:

    How ridiculous. And how typically Bostonian. Is it any wonder that Boston, wich should by all rights have an opera company to match its symphony orchestra, is nothing more than a C+ regional organization? Does classical, historicl opeta really need ro be “woke?” This is just silly and has nothing to do with music or singing.

  • JB says:

    The 2021/22 season of BLO is now reduced to almost nothing. Maybe they have financial problems after COVID. Organizing some discussion rounds on cultural appropriation and racial stereotypes is certainly cheaper than mounting a new production of Madama Butterfly.

  • Riccardo says:

    Why not schedule Porgy and Bess instead? 😀

  • Dietmar says:

    It is curious that any attempt at a more sensitive approach to issues of race meet with such vitriol. Art lovers appear to be no different from the rest. Those opposing change are the white washers! And yes, apparently Americans need things spelled out because they can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • Springbeg says:

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” (Voltaire)

  • Novagerio says:

    Why would Madama Buttefly need “examination” – and by legal contribution almost 120 years after its first performance? Has the world been waiting for the Woke-movement that long?

    P.S: How are things with the Gilbert/Sullivan Mikado by the way?…

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