Madama Butterfly is a work with broad appeal, which made it an obvious candidate for an outreach effort by the San Francisco Opera. Out of all his operas, Madama Butterfly was composer Giacomo Puccini’s favorite work. The timeless nature of the opera could hardly have been seen at its disastrous premiere at Milan, Italy’s famed La Scala opera house in February 1904, when a complex mix of logistical, artistic, and political issues resulted in La Scala’s famously merciless crowd giving the ...

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