Madame Butterfly at the Colony Theatre

Japanese-American relations are the theme of Giacomo Puccini's masterpiece opera Madame Butterfly, which is being performed tonight, 8 p.m. at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach). Sung in Italian, set in Japan, and featuring an American leading man and music in the German dramatic style, Butterfly was first performed in 1904 — which goes to show you that multiculturalism isn't as newfangled as they say. It's the saga of Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton, an American sailor who boinks a 15 year-old geisha. She gets pregnant, the two fall in love and wed. But Pinkerton is soon called back across the Pacific. Abandoned by her hubbie and cast out of the community for miscegenation, Madame Butterfly becomes the center of a Greek-scale tragedy.

Madame Butterfly inspired Weezer's second album, Pinkerton, and the storyline was relocated to Vietnam for the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. Today, Madame Butterfly is still one of the most oft-performed modern operas. Tickets cost $30. Call 305-674-1040, or visit
Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

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Penn Bullock