The lines began to form outside the Metropolitan Opera House at 7 a.m. By curtain time more fans had been turned away than from any opera in ten years.
Madame Butterfly was having its first showing since the Met packed it away in mothballs after Pearl Harbor, afraid that the public would resent watching B. F. Pinkerton, Lieutenant, U.S.N., caddishly deceive the Japanese girl Cio-Cio-San. Puccini's Pinkerton still sang, as he did in 1904:
I'm marrying in Japanese fashion . . .
Free, though, to annul the marriage monthly
. . . to the day on which I'll wed
In real marriagea real American wife!