The Hazardous Hunt for Madam Butterfly

Butterfly escaped his attention

that foggy night, whilst his ears

were ringing from the singing of “The Mikado“,

so his splendid new automobile skidded

over the edge on the road near Lucca.

So in February of 1903 Puccini plunged

off the embankment and

fell down fifteen feet.

 

Having had that five metre fall

he found his right shin bone fractured.

In May he was disconsolate and complaining-no surprise

as it was badly set

had to be broken again

and reset.

 

In deep depression he wrote again

to Illica, his versifying lyricist;

Addio tutto, addio Butterfly, addio vita mea

Not easy to catch this fleeting insect-girl,

but in June, he slowly began once again

and by December,

the orchestration was finally complete.

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Source

The Complete Operas of Puccini

by Charles Osborne