Opera aficionados need no introduction to Madame Butterfly. The seminal work by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini remains one of the most frequently produced and revered works in opera's vaulted history with the dire fate of the title character, Cio-Cio San (a.k.a. Butterfly), held up as exemplifying the form's power to evoke soul-stirring pathos. The work's famously doomed romanticism has inspired volumes of adaptations and tributes, including Pinkerton, a concept album from the rock band Weezer that similarly examined the illusion fetishism affixed to foreign cultures and the destructive consequences of treating love like an idle conquest. For that reason, Weezer fans are likely to be counted among the diverse audience for the Minnesota Opera's latest staging of the generation-spanning masterwork. Following the blissfully deceptive allure of a naive young geisha's blind devotion to an impetuous American naval officer and the gut-wrenching realization of an utterly catastrophic betrayal, Madame Butterfly remains a harrowing study in wretchedly abused affection. Alternating the role of Butterfly are two of contemporary opera's most commanding sopranos, Yunah Lee and Minnesota native Kelly Kaduce. Both performers are sure to capture the ill-fated yearnings and heartrending despair central to the work, especially with director E. Reed Fisher restaging Colin Graham's critically lauded arrangement last seen in the 2004 season. Like that earlier production, Madame Butterfly promises to be a captivating occasion. For tickets and info, call 612.333.6669 or visit www.mnopera.org.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 14. Continues through April 22, 2012