Schopera sat down with Santa Fe-born soprano Rena Harms to get the inside scoop about her performances as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly.
Rena Harms speaks fondly about her role and is excited to share her thoughts about growing to love a difficult role like Butterfly, her post-rehearsal craft skills, and realizing that - as a professional singer - there's no real "I made it!" moment.
"The first time I saw Madama Butterfly I actually found Cio-Cio San to be a hard pill to swallow. She can come across very weak and silly if one is not careful in her portrayal. Without her own drive and motivation she seems doomed from the start and her plight becomes uninteresting. I think it is important to relate to the audience that it is her inner strength that drives her to make life-changing decisions. She turns her back on the traditions of her culture to marry a man she doesn't know in search of a better life, free of the family shame she can never escape in Japan. That takes guts, especially at 15 years old!
... I am currently doing a production at Arizona Opera and this Butterfly is very different from my first. The director, Matthew Ozawa, has a very different take on the opera which he attributes to his Japanese heritage. I am loving his take on a girl who wants with all of her heart to be a western woman."