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Tag Archives: Madame Butterfly

Heat of the Sun in the New York Times

Today’s New York Times music section features an article called “Liberating the Librettos” by Anthony Tommasini, the paper’s chief music critic, which explores the subject of “opera what-ifs.” Here’s an excerpt: “Most opera fans are intensely involved with the characters of great operas. We are protective of them, even the evil ones. “There is a…
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The Butterfly Effect

It was the best idea I’d ever had. Filing out of the Prague State Opera, my partner asked me suddenly: “What happened to that boy?” The boy was “Trouble,” Madame Butterfly’s son, played in most productions by a blond, Western child. In the port of Nagasaki, Trouble’s mother, a geisha, had for one ecstatic season…
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Irish Times reviews The Heat of the Sun

If you’re familiar with Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly you’ll know that the geisha Cio-Cio-San dies in the third act, despairing that her American lover, Lieut Pinkerton, has abandoned her and their son. But what happened next? David Rain gamely takes up the story a little after Puccini left off … This book is a thing…
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“The Butterfly Effect”: Literary Sofa feature with David Rain

Book website The Literary Sofa features an article by David about the writing of The Heat of the Sun with an excellent accompanying review. Here’s how it begins: “Some stories have such a strong hold on the popular imagination that they refuse to fade away. The desire to reconnect with the familiar in a new…
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“Ya got Trouble”: fabulous piece about The Heat of the Sun in Opera News

The April 2013 issue of US magazine Opera News contains a fabulous piece about The Heat of the Sun. Key quote: “It’s a wildly audacious and compellingly written book … Reading The Heat of the Sun is like watching an author keep daring himself to take higher and higher hurdles and clearing them every time; he…
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The New Zealand Herald reviews The Heat of the Sun

“The story of Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly, is widely known. In brief, a young American naval lieutenant, Pinkerton, woos and marries a Japanese maiden, Cho Cho San (Butterfly). After they spend their wedding night together, he sails away, promising to return. This he does, three years later, bringing with him his new American wife; Japanese…
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Washington Post reviews The Heat of the Sun

A curious review of The Heat of the Sun in the Washington Post for December 4, 2012, which calls the novel “operatic” but seems equivocal about what to make of that. Reviewer Wendy Smith complains about “over-the-top plot twists” and “melodrama” but also says that “Rain is a talented writer, and ‘The Heat of the Sun’ is…
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Tartarin: The Opera That Never Was

Much is made in The Heat of the Sun of a Puccini opera called Tartarin. This opera does not exist. Why mention it? My narrator, on the second page of the preface he calls the “Overture,” writes: “The opera, you will recall, is based on a novel by Alphonse Daudet. In the figure of Tartarin,…
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Booklist reviews The Heat of the Sun

“What happened to the characters in Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly after Cio-Cio-San’s suicide? Australian author Rain imagines some answers in . . . [a first novel that is] dramatic, even operatic, and an engaging read.” Booklist is a publication of the American Library Associates and reviews requires registration for access.

Kirkus Reviews on The Heat of the Sun

“A remarkable debut that reinvents, elaborates and extends into the late 20th century the story Puccini made famous in Madama Butterfly. “Woodley Sharpless—orphan, cripple, closeted homosexual—is a noted biographer. He guides us through the life story of Ben “Trouble” Pinkerton. Trouble is the apt name for a man who makes a scene on the periphery of…
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