Madama Butterfly was my first opera. I was living in the dorms at Lewis & Clark College and a guy two doors down got opera tickets from his dad for his birthday—enough for our entire dorm floor to go. We were amateurs, but by the time we'd downed a few beers, gotten all dressed up and climbed onto the bus headed for the Hampton Opera Center, we were ready to be as classy as they come.
Not that we achieved any such thing, but it didn't matter anyway. I forgot about our motley crew by the second act. And by the time "Addio Fiorito Asil" began I was pretty hooked on the performance. Maybe not enough to go see an opera for another few years, but at least enough that the story and music stayed with me, popping up in the lulls between the punk rock soundtrack of my life.
Written in 1904, Puccini's Madama Butterfly tells the story of Cio Cio San, a Japanese woman in love with an American Naval officer named Pinkerton. It's the most popular, most performed opera to date, and in August the Montana Lyric Opera (who did a semi-staged production of Verdi's Rigoletto last year) will produce a fully-staged production of it, which means you'll get the whole experience: full orchestra, fancy costumes and a cast of professional singers.
The performance runs August 11 and August 13 at 7 PM nightly, and August 15 at 5:30 PM. Early bird tickets are on sale now through June 1 for $15-35. Beginning June 2, tickets will go up to $19-39. Purchase tickets at www.MTOpera.org or call 406-541-9233.