The Legend of the Phoenix is one of the primary archetypal legends that sits in our psyche…death and rebirth, loosing and winning, an endless cycle of life.

It was symbolical to witness this in Venice in the world famous Theatro La Fenice (Phoenix in Italian).venice opera house la fenice

In 1774 The San Benedetto Theater, the leading Opera House in Venice for more than 40 years, was burned to the ground. After rebuilding the Opera House it was renamed La Fenice, symbolizing it’s rebirth.  In 1986,  it was damaged by fire again and managed to rise from its ashes one more time.

IMG_1832_2 Despite this setbacks it became one of the leading Opera Houses in Europe premiering many operas including Verdi’s masterpieces: Attila, Rigoletto and La Traviata.

 Instagram Picture
Instagram Picture

I saw the production of Madame Butterfly, the night I was there. One of the top 10 operas staged in the tragic tale of love between an American marine and a Japanese Geisha. Set design and costumes design was extremely modernized which added an interesting twist to the story, making it timeless.

At the end of the story, Madame Butterfly commits Hara-kiri, a Japanese suicide, since Pinkerton abandoned her and remarried Kate (an American wife).  Kate offered to adopt Madam Butterflies’ son (that she had with Pinkerton) who she is not able to support financially.

This story always makes me cry. It is very sad and you can always see how it gets repeated over and over again in every part of the world. Broken hearts, broken families, financial instability of single mothers…


My wish was to see the production modernized in a way that it will show Madam Butterfly become an independent and strong woman and take care of her son without giving up on life. I wished that she would rise up from the ashes of her depression, like the bird of Phoenix. That would have modernized the story for me more than the set and the costumes…don’t you think?

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27 thoughts on ““Like the legend of the Phoenix”

  1. I am sure what you are thinking is the current trend with many women at workforce than ever. And I wish your ending might get implemented in the near future. Unfortunately, if the story turns around then people may not like it.. Demand and Supply matters.

    1. I was actually wondering about it, if people would still like the Opera when all of a sadden character who is just about to die, turns the situation around, probably we wouldn’t be able to call it an Opera 🙂 …but what does it tell about us as viewers? Do we love seeing people being miserable ? Does it make our life seem so much better?…Hollywood gives me hope with movies like Rocky, Pretty Woman , etc..where people get a “lemon” in their life and turn it into a “chocolate mousse “.

      1. Yes, we love sad endings, and feel better about ourselves.. that we are better than rest 😉 .. that’s the human nature and that is probably why Opera went onto become such a hit… and people would love watching it. Don’t you think so? Although, those movies pretty women or Rocky.. they were appreciated for boldness and not really setting an example for people to lead such life.

  2. You lucky, lucky girl! Beautiful opera, beautiful venue. Wish I was there! I got a lump in my throat just thinking about the story. Why don’t you re-write the opera? I like your ending better.

  3. I am jealous, you got to see one of my favorite operas. I’ve actually never seen a live performance of opera. I’ll have to live vicariously through you. ❤ I hope you enjoyed yourself.

  4. Great photos! Quite a contrast between the ornate theater and the stark stage set. I think changing the ending would lessen the love story, though: her love is so powerful that she takes her own life rather than face life without her beloved, even though it is his cruelty separating them. If at the end she decides to abandon the boor and rebuild her life, you have to conclude her love apparently wasn’t that all-consuming after all. It would be kind of like Romeo or Juliet, finding the other dead, saying “Oh well,” and going on with their lives. A healthier outlook, perhaps, but not much of a love story…

  5. I travelled to the Estate Theatre in Prague for the 20th anniversary of his birth. It’s where he conducted the premiers of Don Giovanni and La Clemenza Tito – stunning and very intimate, so much so it’s easy to miss – whilst looking for it, I ended up asking for directions IN the theatre! 😀

      1. How strange, half the message seems not to’ve been typed properly, and the other half by a moron. It was supposed to read, 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth! Dear god! Ha!

        I love Prague – could quite happily live there.

  6. I like your idea of changing Butterfly from a victim to a victor! Then she would be, as you say, a phoenix–or a true representation of a butterfly, one that appears dead but returns to life in a new way. 🙂

    1. You’re so write I did not even think about what Butterly represents…she should have become a true Madame Butterfly ! But what can you do? It was a standard formula of the old days :it is not a good Opera if no one dies at the end 🙂

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