Madame Butterfly

In my rendering of Madame Butterfly
There is no heartbreak and suicide.
Through panel rooms the sound of waves.
On a silk screen, the blue moonlight.
One gust of wind and it is spring.
Butterfly wings flutter on bronze,
The temple bells are ringing,
Flower and song flow into one.
No gods appear in the libretto.
No tear drop moistens a sleeve,
No ceremonial dagger falls to the floor,
No shadow feast will be served.
All night the nightingale floor is singing.

My Life in Opera

Growing up in a house of pain,
You sacrifice everything for love.
Like the time my uncle tore open his shirt
And begged his brothers
To let him return to the love
He left in Buenos Aires,
Like the time my mother
Was scratching at her eyes,
Like the time my father both raged and wept.

Days were scenes without direction.
One day a cousin would stab herself
Or an aunt jump from a tower.
I didn’t know what was real;
But what passionate singing I heard,
Tenors, sopranos, baritones–
All around me in full voice;
And there I was, in love with Tosca,
Condemned to death,
And just twelve years old.

Another Night at the Opera

At the sickbed of romance
The famous tenor split his pants,
The bodice of the soprano burst,
Letting air out of her aria first…
Tonight seven cell phones,
Twelve bleepers, sixteen coughs,
Forty yawns and eleven sneezes,
Accompanied by gassy breezes,
Joined the hissing, boos and jeers
Amid the music of the spheres.
When the mezzo-soprano began to trill,
Half the mezzanine took ill;
And the basso singing solo
Fell flat on his profondo.
Tonight the chorus was in chaos
When the andante lost its pathos
And the allegro lagged along
Far behind both act and song.
Even the conductor was confused
When the composer left bemused,
And the librettist wrote a letter:
“The opera could not be better—
Save for the flautist blowing Rigoletto,
Found toying with his piccoletto.”

Another Night at the Opera

At the sickbed of romance
The famous tenor split his pants,
The bodice of the soprano burst,
Letting air out of her aria first…
Tonight seven cell phones,
Twelve bleepers, sixteen coughs,
Forty yawns and eleven sneezes,
Accompanied by gassy breezes,
Joined the hissing, boos and jeers
Amid the music of the spheres.
When the mezzo-soprano began to trill,
Half the mezzanine took ill;
And the basso singing solo
Fell flat on his profondo.
Tonight the chorus was in chaos
When the andante lost its pathos
And the allegro lagged along
Far behind both act and song.
Even the conductor was confused
When the composer left bemused,
And the librettist wrote a letter:
“The opera could not be better—
Save for the flautist blowing Rigoletto,
Found toying with his piccoletto.”