• Kyodo

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A Japanese sequel to “Madam Butterfly” was staged here Friday during the 2006 Festival Puccini — the first non-Puccini opera ever to be performed at the festival.

Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” is the tragic tale of Japanese Cio-Cio-San and U.S. Navy Lt. B.F. Pinkerton. It was first performed in 1904 in Milan.

The Japanese opera, “Junior Butterfly,” with music by Shigeaki Saegusa and the libretto written by Masahiko Shimada, tells the tale of J.B., a U.S.-raised son of Cio-Cio-San and Pinkerton.

In the opera, J.B. is posted to Japan with the the U.S. Wartime Information Agency before the start of World War II. There he falls in love with Naomi. When the war breaks out, he is put in a detention camp. The couple’s love affair ends in tragedy when Naomi dies in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.

“I was very happy” to see it performed at the festival, Saegusa said. “I hope this opera will be performed in a indoor theater like La Scala (in Milan) next time.”

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