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Annapolis Opera to offer series of lectures in advance of Madame Butterfly

| February 22, 2017, 04:02 PM

In anticipation of the performance of Madame Butterfly in March, Annapolis Opera is announcing a new three-part lecture series, Opera Insights, that will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the history, art, and music that serve as an inspirational backdrop to this classic opera by Puccini.               

The first lecture in the series, “Love and Loss:  Madame Butterfly’s Fate in a Changing Japan,” on Saturday February 25th at 3:00 p.m., will be presented by Daniel Masterson, USNA retired professor of history, an author and noted scholar.  Masterson’s specialties during his 36 years of teaching include: civil-military relations, immigration and the Japanese diaspora. Professor Masterson will be discussing the opening of the Far East, why the United States, particularly the Navy, saw this as an opportunity, and the outcomes of the emerging relationship between Japan and the United States. The lecture will be at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and it is free and open to the public, however seating is limited and reservations are recommended. 

The second lecture in the series, “The Art of Kimono,” will be presented by Japanese textile scholar Ann Marie Moeller on Sunday March 12th at 3:00 p.m.  Consulting Curator for the recent Kimono and Obi exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and a lecturer to a variety of institutions that include the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery and Embassy of Japan, Moeller will be talking about the textile’s history and how the kimono communicates information such as social class, marriage status, age, education, religious beliefs, and a sense of humor through its design and patterns. Several kimonos from the Opera’s collection will be on display, as well as a demonstration of how it is worn.   The lecture will be at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Tickets are $15 and can purchased through the Maryland Hall box office at 410-280-5640 or online at               

The third lecture in the series will be presented by Annapolis Advisory Trustee Nancie Kennedy.   Mrs. Kennedy’s music career includes teaching voice at The Peabody Institute and Eastman School of Music, where she was the acting chair of the voice faculty at the Eastman Community School of Music. She has been giving “Pre-Opera Talks” prior to Annapolis Opera performances for over 10 years.   The inspiration for Puccini’s story, how it was initially received by the public, and some of the performers who have portrayed the title roles, are just a few of the topics Mrs. Kennedy will be covering in her talks on Friday March 17th from 6:45-7:30 and Sunday the 19th from 1:45 to 2:30. The lecture will be at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and it is free and open to the public, however seating is limited and reservations are recommended.              

Madame Butterfly tells the story of a young geisha who clings to the belief that her marriage to an American Naval Officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton, is a loving and permanent one.   Delving into the issues of racial and cultural bias, the opera deals with controversial themes. The hauntingly lyrical score has made it a perennial favorite with music lovers. There are only two performances: March 17th at 8:00 p.m. and March 19th at 3:00 p.m. and tickets range in price from $27 to $82.  

For more information, visit or call the Annapolis Opera at 410-267-8135.

To reserve seats for the Insight Series, contact the opera office at 410-267-6440 or email [email protected].

To purchase tickets, contact the Maryland Hall box office at 410-280-5640 or visit

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