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Nagasaki and Madame Butterfly: Historical Background and Implications of the Famous Opera

A talk examining the relationship between Nagasaki and "Madame Butterfly" in the Meiji Era.

Was there ever any real connection between Thomas Glover, the Scottish Merchant in Nagasaki, and the opera "Madame Butterfly"? Unlike other Japan-based operas and novels, "Madame Buttefly" has inspired a debate about whether the tragic heroine "Cho-Cho-san" is based on a real-life model. As the setting of the opera, Nagasaki holds answers to this question and yet has remained curiously silent on the topic. This presentation will look at the historical loam from which the story sprouted, discuss the reasons for the connection often drawn between the opera and
Scottish merchant Thomas Glover, and discuss "Madame Butterfly" in the
context of its importance as a window on Japan’s changing relationship with Europe and America.
Speaking at this seminar will be Professor Brian Burke-Gaffney, Dean of the Human Environment Faculty, Nagasaki Institute of Applied Sciences and author of 'Starcrossed: A Biography of "Madame Butterfly"'.


Professor Brian Burke-Gaffney | talks


Date and Time:

11 June 2008 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Japan Foundation London
Russell Square House
10-12 Russell Square
020 7436 6695

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This talk is free but booking is essential. Please e-mail your name and contact details to event@jpf.org.uk

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