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Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere tells Julia Roberts “People’s reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic. They either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it – but it will never become part of their soul.”

I’m not sure that opera is a part of my soul, but I really enjoy my few favorites.  The Metropolitan Opera in New York broadcasts regular Saturday afternoon performances. For a number of years, I would go back to my clothes closet (we have a crowded household), curl up with some blankets on the floor, and listen to that week’s performance while dozing off and on. If I had to choose, I love listening to Verdi’s La Traviata, but Puccini’s Madame Butterfly would be my favorite. In Act Two, Butterfly sings what to me is the most beautiful aria in all opera, “Un bel dì.“  You can listen below.


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