Madama Butterfly speaks out

The video clip in which a butterfly perches on flautist Yukie Ota's forehead as she plays in the 2014 Carl Nielsen International Music Flute Competition has gone viral. We talked to her about her experience.

Yukie Ota had almost competed her programme in the first round of the 2014 Carl Nielsen International Music Flute Competition when a butterfly alighted on her eyebrow and remained for a whole minute as she played for the jury. Yukie Ota displayed enormous self-control and simply carried on playing.

The 2014 Carl Nielsen International Music Flute Competition is being livestreamed on the Internet and so a television camera captured this unusual occurrence. A clip was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday and by Wednesday lunchtime it had attracted 300,000 views. Yukie Ota and the butterfly have gone viral! We asked her how she felt when it happened. She says the first thing she noticed was a peculiar tickling feeling on her forehead.

"Then it moved downwards to perch on my eyebrow, enabling to to squint upwards to see just what it was." Yukie Ota says the experience was magical.

"It was an amazing experience to be standing there in the town of fairy-tale-writer Hans Christian Andersen's birth and then to have a piece of magic take place. I felt it was a greeting from him", Yukie Ota says.

No stranger to insects

The social media are full of plaudits for Yukie Ota for carrying on with such aplomb while the butterly tickled her brow. And there is actually a good reason why she remained unfazed.

"I am used to playing outdoor concerts, and I have often had insects fluttering round my head. So in a way I have been trained to maintain my concentration, also when something is trying to distract me", she laughs.

And what's more you'll be able to watch Yukie Ota again on Friday as she is one of the six contestants to be picked for the semifinals!

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