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James Conlon

As for Los Angeles Opera's 'Madame Butterfly,' go for the music

As for Los Angeles Opera's 'Madame Butterfly,' go for the music

Los Angeles Opera came into being in 1986 with a stellar production of Verdi's "Otello." It was a historic occasion at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The next evening the company presented Puccini's "Madame Butterfly," and Martin Bernheimer wrote in these pages that overnight the new company had managed with its second opera the dubious feat of settling into "tired, dutiful, predictable routine."

Over three decades, multitudes of "Butterflys" — sad and exquisite Lepidoptera, colorful and gutsy ones, but also several blanched and boring ones — have now fluttered across this stage. I don't know for sure whether this is the opera...

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