Westbury, NY, resident Valerie Varnuska has a passion for the arts and enjoys trips to the theater. One of Valerie Varnuska’s favorite shows is Madame Butterfly, an opera that has enjoyed success for over a century, thanks to its classic story and traditional staging.
Composed by Giacomo Puccini and first performed in 1904, Madame Butterfly follows the story of an arranged marriage between a young Japanese woman named Cio-Cio-San, the titular Madame Butterfly, and Lieutenant Pinkerton, who serves in the United States Navy.
Though Cio-Cio-San takes the arrangement seriously and quickly falls in love with her American suitor, Pinkerton treats the marriage as an afterthought and leaves his wife behind for three years soon after conceiving a child with her.
Upon his return, Pinkerton brings with him a new wife, Kate, and decides to adopt the child that Cio-Cio-San bore him. Though she knows that the adoption will offer her child greater opportunities in life, Cio-Cio-San sinks into despair upon learning about Pinkerton’s marital betrayal. She eventually decides to give her child to Pinkerton and Kate, bidding the young boy a final farewell before committing suicide.