Puccini’s operas are filled with interesting female characters. They are often dangerous and cunning, like Tosca, Turandot, and Minnie from La fanciulla del West, but they can also show great vulnerability. In this respect, Cio-Cio-San (known as Madama Butterfly in the opera) resembles Mimi in La boheme, the protagonist of Sister Angelica, and Liu in Turandot. For Puccini, this frailty takes on mystical—even divine—qualities.
Robert Wilson’s minimalist production for the Los Angeles Opera encourages the audience to pay close attention to the music and dramatic action. Anthony Minghella’s colorful production for the MET creates a sharp contrast with its choices for costume and set design. The following resources were selected by Ross Scimeca of the USC Libraries to help you learn more about Madama Butterfly and reflect on the artistic choices of Wilson and Minghella while staging the opera.
About This Guide
Visions and Voices and the USC Libraries present Explorations, a series of research guides that allow you to build on your experiences at Visions and Voices events.