Welcome to the Road to Butterfly blog which will tell the story of how Oak Park’s Village Players is to put on one of Puccini’s most famous operas. (Madama Butterfly opens on June 8 and runs until June 24 ?#34; ticket information is below). We will also be discussing the opera itself and inviting your comments, and following the ups and downs of the production.

Did you know for example, that when Madama Butterfly opened in 1904 at La Scala Opera House in Milan it was a flop? According to Phil Goulding’s book, Ticket to the Opera, when the heroine’s music first played, it brought catcalls from the Italian audience. In the middle of the first act, the hissing began. By the end of the first act, there was jeering.

The first Butterfly, Rosina Storchio was having a well-publicized affair with the young firebrand conductor, Arturo Toscannini. In the second act, Butterfly entered with her son who she had named “Trouble.” The audience greeted this entrance with hoots of “il piccolo Toscannini” (“The little Toscannini”).

After the final curtain, the house responded with “an absolute glacial silence.” After one performance, Puccini withdrew the opera. So how did it become one of the most frequently performed operas in the world?

Stay tuned and we’ll find out.

Trivia Question: What year was Madama Butterfly first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York?

Email your answer to boxoffice@village-players.org. One entry per person. A drawing will be held of the correct answers and the winner will receive two tickets to Village Player’s Madama Butterfly. We’ll announce the winner here in the days to come.

To purchase tickets to Madama Butterfly at Village Players visit village-players.org or call (866)764-1010.

Because this is a community blog, I welcome your thoughts below.

Join the discussion on social media!