November's Dinner and a Diva brings you two wonderful evenings featuring highlights from Giacomo Puccini's Madam Butterfly, along with a great three-course dinner paired with wine. Set in and around a house on a hill overlooking the harbor at Nagasaki, Japan, in 1904, Madam Butterfly tells the tragic story about the love between a United States Navy lieutenant living in Japan and the geisha his real estate and marriage broker friend has supplied him, Cio-Cio San.

Puccini wrote five versions of Madam Butterfly. The original two-act version, which was presented at the world premiere at La Scala on Feb. 17, 1904, was withdrawn after the disastrous premiere. Puccini then substantially rewrote it, this time in three acts. This second version was performed on May 28, 1904 in Brescia, Italy, where it was a great success.

This second version premiered in the United States in 1906, first in Washington, D.C., in October, and then in New York in November. In 1906, Puccini wrote a third version which was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1907, Puccini made several changes in the orchestral and vocal scores which became known as the fourth version. The 4th was performed in Paris. In 1907.

Puccini made his final revisions to the opera in a fifth version which has become known as the "Standard Version." This standard version is the one which is most often performed around the world. Interestingly, all five versions included “Un bel dì,” which remains one of the best-known arias in the soprano repertoire. 

Today, Madama Butterfly is a staple of the operatic repertoire around the world, ranked 6th by Operabase; Puccini’s La bohème and Tosca rank 3rd and 5th. 

So make your plans now to join us at Petite Violette for a Dinner and a Diva evening on either Tuesday, Nov. 13 (SOLD OUT) or Thursday, Nov. 15. You'll hear Rachel Eve Holmes, soprano; Melissa Godbee, mezzo-soprano; Brendan Callahan-Fitzgerald, tenor; and Wade Thomas, baritone; accompanied by Capitol City’s music director, Catherine Giel, musically transport you to 1904 Japan with  highlights from Madam Butterfly. It'll be an evening you do not want to miss!