Join fellow alumni, family, and friends for Dartmouth on Location for Opera Philadelphia's production of Madame Butterfly on Sunday, May 5, 2024. The event begins with a luncheon and talk by Dartmouth's Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music Steve Swayne ’57a at the Academy of Music Ballroom.

Madame Butterfly is one of opera’s most enduring tales of unrequited love. The heartbreaking story follows the lovelorn Butterfly — a young geisha named Cio-Cio-San — as she awaits the return of her absent American husband, U.S. Navy Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton. Professor Swayne will discuss how Puccini's music holds us in its thrall as we take in a story that makes us all uncomfortable. He'll also share amusing and inspiring tales of teaching opera to Dartmouth undergraduates and through his massive open online course (MOOC) on Italian opera. 

In Opera Philadelphia's production designed by Yuki Izumihara, the opera comes alive with a fresh viewpoint for today’s audiences, moving the story between fantasy and reality. Puccini's achingly beautiful music will leave a lasting impression with Karen Chia-ling Ho and Anthony Ciaramitaro making their company debuts as Cio-Cio-San and Pinkerton. Anthony Clark Evans, who impressed in the title role of Rigoletto (2021), returns as the American consul Sharpless, with mezzo Kristen Choi (The Raven, 2022) as the steadfast maid Suzuki. For more information, visit


  • 11:00 a.m. Welcome and Registration 
  • 11:15 a.m. Luncheon Buffet
  • 11:45 a.m. Talk with Professor Steve Swayne 
  • 12:45 p.m. Guests head to theatre 
  • 1:00 p.m. Pre-show talk Opera Overtures on Madame Butterfly
  • 2:00 p.m. Performance of Madame Butterfly


Reception, talk, and ticket to performance:

  • Opera 2 (Rows DD-L) : $234 
  • Opera 3 (Rows E-Q) : $178 
  • Opera 4 (Rows E-F, outer seats): $130 (More seats added!)

Reception and talk only: $50

Classes (2013-2023) reception and talk only: $35



Academy of Music 
240 South Broad St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19102 

Parking information:

Our Speaker

Steve Swayne, the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music at Dartmouth College, teaches courses in art music from 1700 to the present day, opera, American musical theater, Russian music, and American music. He has written two books—How Sondheim Found His Sound (University of Michigan Press, 2005) and Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life (Oxford University Press, 2011; winner of the 2012 ASCAP Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography)—and served as the 2022 president of the American Musicological Society, the premier organization for musicologists in the English-speaking world. He held the 2020 Kluge Chair in Modern Culture at the Library of Congress and received an inaugural Professor John Rassias Faculty Award in 2017 for his exceptional educational outreach to alumni. He specializes in making classical music intelligible to non-musicians and in linking the history of music to larger political, cultural, socioeconomic, and historical trends.