Whatever happened to the Hapa baby born in Madame Butterfly: Hiro Kanagawa and David McIntyre debut stage reading of their musical drama “Tom Pinkerton”

Vancouver is full of hapa people, born of two different cultures, races etc…  But what about the baby born in the opera Madame Butterfly to Cio-Cio, after her former American naval officer “husband”, B.F. Pinkerton, had abandoned her then returned to claim the three-year old child, and take him to go live in America to be raised by his American wife Kate?

Vancouver's Hiro Kanagawa and David McIntyre have written a musical drama based on this big “what if”?

They are offering a FREE public reading

Tom Pinkerton
Friday, December 14th
3:00 pm
Canadian Memorial Church
corner of Burrard & West 16th Ave.

December 14, 2007

3pm – 6pm

Canadian Memorial Church

1825 West 16th Ave

Vancouver, BC


Produced by Rumble Productions, their website says:

At the end of Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly, the 3-year-old child of
Cio-Cio and B.F. Pinkerton is whisked away to America to be raised by
Pinkerton and his American wife, Kate. Set 20 years after these events,
Tom Pinkerton finds the child struggling to become a man and searching
for the mother he never knew. We travel with the youth, now called Tom,
as he revisits the Nagasaki of his birth to find love and
self-realization. But is he fated to repeat the sins of his father? And
what has become of Mr. Sharpless, Suzuki, and the others?

Both a return and a
departure, Tom Pinkerton is an exciting new collaboration between
playwright Hiro Kanagawa and composer David MacIntyre that combines the
heightened emotions and theatricality of its operatic forebear with the
tragic realities of Japan’s wondrous and sinister march through the
early years of the 20th century.

Hiro has been a very creative playwright, writer and actor in Vancouver.  Last year he helped perform a staged reading of the Dorothy Livesay radio documentary poem
“Call My People Home” for the Joy Kogawa House fundraiser event at Christ Church Cathedral. Written in 1949, it is
one of the first written pieces to criticize the internment of Japanese
Canadians. See my review of the event: 

Joy of Canadian Words: April 25th fundraiser for Kogawa House – Actors read Canadian Literary works to Astound!

My opera soprano friend Heather Pawsey is a member of the Tom Pinkerton cast and she alerted me to this stage reading.  Heather has performed at numerous Gung Haggis Fat Choy events, so she knew how interested I would be to hear about it.  She writes:

“The music and story are imaginative and compelling, and the cast fantastic.
If you're looking for something different than the usual
seasonal fare, please come and enjoy this marvellous new work.”

Check out Tom Pinkerton at http://www.rumble.org/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ four = 8