Hope you had a nice weekend. Ours was quiet, despite my three adult kids being here, and the in-laws coming for Sunday lunch.
Since you ask, I cooked tagliatelle ragù as the primo, cotolette for the secondo, and friggione as the contorno.
With an antipasto of hummus on rye bread, and a vegan-alternative primo, a non-egg pasta and a sugo of borlotti beans.
It was a lot of work, but at least no one refused point blank to put even a morsel in her mouth, or crammed food in so as to chew it into a paste and store it there, ready to spit out on to a stain-prone fabric, or person, at a critical moment.
We’re missing Roomie, though.
Anyway, this morning I published a new ‘easy reader’ ebook, another in the Opera series, which we began last fall.
This time it’s Madama Butterfly, level B1, and it’s reduced 25% from the usual ebook price, so just £5.99 until next Sunday, 26th March 2023.
As I’ve explained previously, these are intended to be good reading/listening practice for anyone at or around the advertised level, but are also supposed to prepare you to watch the actual opera, in the orignal.
Though I’m hesitant to suggest you actually do that. Stefi and I got about an hour into this two and a half hour production at the Verona area, then didn’t continute with it. It’s subtitled in Italian, but the subtitles often flash up then away too rapidly, making them hard to follow.
The best alternative I could find was this one, at Modena’s Teatro Comunale, which would have been more my thing, but for the fact that on the TV in our living room the English subtitles overlaid the Italian, making them impossible to read. If you’re happy to watch the opera in English, that’s the one for you. And/or watch it on a device where you can turn off the CC (closed captions) in English, so view only the Italian captions. That works fine on my laptop now. I’ve no idea why it didn’t when Chromecast to the TV…
So how come we didn’t finish it?
Call me ‘woke’ (someone did the other day, and was very unpleasant about it), but as the father of two daughters, the concept felt pretty icky. Maybe it’s just that I’m a romantic, so prefer happy endings (Turandot, for example, which was delightful for everyone except the many unsuccessful suitors who had their heads chopped off…)
How did I know the plot and the ending? From our ebook, of course, which I’d been proof-reading and formatting the previous day.
You’ll make up your own minds, I’m sure. But for those who won’t be bothered to attempt the whole thing, check out the famous aria, which everyone will know. This version, by the super-famous Maria Callas, has both the Italian lyrics and an English translation. It”ll be quite a nice little learning exercise for you, as well as making you seem very cultured to family members or colleagues.
Want to know what Maria’s singing about? Buy the ebook.
An original Italian easy reader by Francesca Colombo
Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera, first performed in Milan in 1904, here simplifed for learners of Italian (with quotes from the actual libretto!)
We’re in Nagasaki, the famous Japanese port, in the early years of the twentieth century. Let’s have a drink with Pinkerton, a U.S. naval officer – today’s his wedding day! The bride-to-be, Cio Cio-San, is beautiful, just fifteen years old, and fragile as a butterfly. Should be a happy day for them both!
Begin with this ‘easy reader’ ebook before watching the actual opera, or simply use this original Italian reading/listening practice material to add a little variety to your study program.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters (based on Puccini’s Act/Scene structure) to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
This being the first week, Madama Butterfly is 25% discounted, so just £5.99 rather than the usual ‘easy reader’ ebook price of £7.99.
Do check out the Free Sample Chapter (.pdf) before you buy a copy, though. That way, you’ll know whether the level is suitable and that the format works on the device you intend to use it on.
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
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