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'M. Butterfly' takes wing at Santa Fe Opera

Asian American production highlights fraught legacy of Puccini's masterpiece

Kangmin Justin Kim, left, as Song Liling, and Mark Stone as Rene Gallimard in a performance of the Santa Fe Opera's "M. Butterfly." (Photo by Curtis Brown for the Santa Fe Opera)

SANTA FE, U.S. -- Flashes of lightning lit the vast sky behind the Crosby Theater as the two protagonists sing of the stars twinkling in the beautiful night: "East can meet West/Two souls in the dark/Each seeing the other/As the other yearns to be seen."

At the end of Act One of "M. Butterfly," which had its world premiere at the Santa Fe Opera on July 30, against the natural open sky backdrop, the embracing singers are enveloped by the stars as the music fades.

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