Philadelphia Ethical Society
1906 South Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
From February through May, Opera Philadelphia will host a series that aims to foster open and inclusive conversations, providing an opportunity to create an experience that not only contextualizes Madame Butterfly but also contributes to a broader dialogue on the role of opera in contemporary society.
As we delve into the insightful series, it's crucial to acknowledge that each lecturer, panelist, moderator, or facilitator will be sharing their perspectives based on personal experiences and expertise. Remembering that no community is a monolith; within every community, there exists a diverse array of perspectives, we welcome this spectrum of ideas to help foster a deeper understanding of Madame Butterfly and the operatic artform.
Saturday, February 10, 2024| 2:00—3:00 pm | Unpacking Orientalism and Exoticism in Butterfly
The opera Madame Butterfly has long been considered one of Puccini's greatest works, but while the opera explores universal themes of love and betrayal, it can also perpetuate negative anti-Asian stereotypes rooted in Orientalism and exoticism. This panel discussion will explore the historical context of Orientalism in Western art forms bridging a variety of perspectives on the topic including those of scholars, activists, and practicing artists.
Moderator: Rob Buscher, CAC Member
Panel: Melody Wong and Jacqui Sadashige
Brenna Markey (Soprano), Anne Marie Stanley (Mezzo Soprano), Grant Loehnig (Accompanist)
Panel: Yuki Izumihara (Production Designer), Karen Chia-ling Ho (Cio-Cio San), Kristen Choi (Suzuki), and Ethan Heard, (Director)
As opera companies strive to maintain relevance in the modern world, many consider reimagining historical operas to better resonate with contemporary audiences. In this community conversation, we invite panelists and audience members to explore what is gained and what it costs to re-imagine works such as Madame Butterfly.
Facilitator: Daniel Park, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists representative on the CAC
Panel: Melissa Dunphy (CAC member), A.Z. Espinoza, James Ijames
Part of Reflection & Re-Vision