Cio-Cio San, made famous by Puccini in the early 1900s, has mystified and enthralled audiences for more than a century. As the tragic figure at the head of the famed opera Madame Butterfly, Cio-Cio's heartbreak and sacrifices have resonated with more than just opera-goers. Cio-Cio, which also means "butterfly" in Japanese, has even been inspiration for the band Weezer, whose 1996 album, Pinkerton, loosely followed the opera with a sprinkling of lead singer Rivers Cuomo's own experiences. Tonight's event, sponsored by the Minnesota Opera's Tempo program for young professionals in their 20s and 30s, celebrates the aesthetic behind the story with high fashion and art. Maria Lorimer will be live-sketching event-goers and opera scenes in manga style, while Sheila Asato will showcase her interactive Japanese paper artwork. Stylist Grant Whittaker has collected the best and brightest local designers making a splash in the Twin Cities fashion scene. The hand-picked collection flying down the runway will encompass both the life and verve of the show. Later in the evening, members of the Minnesota Opera's production will entertain and educate with a performance and primer on the beautiful, ill-fated Cio-Cio and her lover Pinkerton. Don't miss your chance to enjoy a little opera, don a few cherry blossoms, nibble on some complimentary hors d'oeuvres, and revel in the wonder that is Madame Butterfly.
Fri., March 30, 8 p.m., 2012