In September, Seattle Opera will reprise its production of â€œAn American Dream,â€ by composer Jack Perla and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo, which depicts the incarceration of Japanese Americans in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor â€” providing â€œan essential second perspective for â€˜Butterflyâ€™ audiences.â€
â€œWe want to present opera in a way that reflects our time and place â€” so naturally, representing the diverse people of our region is important to us,â€ Lang said in the operaâ€™s season announcement. â€œWhether itâ€™s Verdi or Mozart on our mainstage, or an opera with Muslim or LGBTQ characters presented in our community â€” opera speaks to the experience of being human which we share. This is why itâ€™s crucial to reduce historic barriers that have made our art form, at times, inaccessible.
The mainstage season unfurls with â€œMadame Butterfly,â€ by Giacomo Puccini, opening Aug. 5. Lang acknowledges that this story is problematic, thanks in part to some productionsâ€™ de-emphasis of Pucciniâ€™s anti-colonial sentiment and of his criticism of U.S. attitudes toward Japan. This well-regarded production, directed by Kate Cherry, is more faithful to the original intent, Lang said.”