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Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Jan 22 2007


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Opera is a centuries-old form of theater in which a story is told through singing. Italian opera incorporates classical music with a special type of singing. Chinese operas often tell traditional stories and the singers wear beautiful costumes.

In the US, the opera is a special occasion. Many Americans live their entire lives without going to the opera. Maybe they aren’t interested in the music. Or they think that they won’t understand the story because the songs are not in English.

Listen to Kevin tell Amanda about the opera he just went to.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  I went to my first opera two weeks ago.

Amanda:  What’d you think?

Kevin:  I saw Madame Butterfly. I thought it was fantastic.

Amanda:  Really?

Kevin:  Yeah. Have you been?

Amanda:  I’ve never been to the opera. Now, what was so wonderful about that experience? How is it different from a play or a musical?

Kevin:  Well, it’s… for one, I thought the singers had just stunningly beautiful voices.

Amanda:  OK.

Kevin:  I mean really incredible. Um, and I… because I’d never been to the opera before, I did not really know what to expect. So it was just fun. It was fun to get dressed up. The crowd was really excited and it was a full house. The place was totally packed.

Amanda:  See, that’s what I was gonna say. The, um, environment is rather formal, isn’t it?

Kevin:  It is.

Amanda:  It’s not a casual wear-your-jeans-and-baseball-cap kinda thing.

Kevin:  No. So if you’re not into dressing up, it…. I… For me that’s really half the fun. I enjoyed it.



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Kevin really enjoyed going to the opera. He said the singing was beautiful and the crowd really appreciated it. He likes dressing up too, so he liked that part of it as well.

At the end of the dialog, you can hear the cast laughing. They are laughing because Amanda looks right at the camera and gives a big smile. The cast members thought it was funny!

Have you ever been to the opera?



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Germany’s eldest opera is in Hamburg … lucky me ! But I really want to go to the Scala in Milano and the Arena in Verona… The old opera in Paris is a must too, and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moskva !!  And: In most opera houses you won’t find opera performances only, but the ballet too !! Enjoy !

11:34 AM Jun 21 2014 |




Yes, I have been to the opera.

I would like to have the opportunity again and so my family.-

Can you believed the audience was stood up clapping and asking the singer to repeat her act?

Good time!

12:28 AM Jul 19 2013 |

1 person likes this




nice, I really want to know why they’re laughing.

11:31 AM Dec 30 2008 |




Boring. Bad sound. Taht guy!!! talk like a man!!!

07:57 PM Nov 27 2008 |



not bad!

01:45 PM Oct 30 2007 |




in italy we have “la scala” in milan….but i’ve never been there…..not bad add

11:20 PM Feb 10 2007 |


ola3Super Member!


Wow, Amanda you make people laugh just by one smile! For Victor24: thanks for advice to open eyes when reading.

03:02 AM Jan 27 2007 |


Viet Nam

Hahah I really wanna know why you laughed out loud in the end of the conversation. So curious!Anway, it’s fun to hear your laugh.

04:32 PM Jan 22 2007 |



Good about the video

12:24 PM Jan 22 2007 |




Good! Nida

05:56 AM Jan 22 2007 |



United States

Nice clear dialogue. But why is there laughing at the end? (My students wanted to know)

01:44 AM Jan 22 2007 |

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