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Madama Butterfly

Hot Date: Saigon Story

Photo by Matt Polk

JULY 9 TO AUGUST 1 A naïve orphan girl and an American GI fall in love amidst Saigon’s exotic but turbulent landscape in the musical Miss Saigon, inspired by Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. In this tragic tale of doomed lovers, Chris, a young soldier about to depart war-torn Vietnam is besotted with the virginal and teenage Kim, who works as a dancer in a seedy club. The themes of sacrifice, hope and motherhood come together in this dramatic and timeless story as Chris, who later marries an American woman, discovers he and Kim have a son together. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., $28 to $175; call 416-644-3665 or navigate here to reserve.

Weekend Roundup, September 25th to 27th

Many music ensembles are now launching their seasons, so take in some fresh concerts this weekend.

Friday: Step out to the AGO and ROM to see Edward Steichen's photograph of Princess Nathalie Paley and much more.

Friday: Step out to the AGO and ROM to see Edward Steichen's photograph of Princess Nathalie Paley and much more.

Friday, September 25th
Listen as Jean-Philippe Tremblay leads the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a rendition of the sweet then rousing sounds of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, as part of the grand opening concert at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s new Koerner Hall performance venue.

Wipe away tears of laughter at the Toronto Improv Festival’s midnight show as audience-driven Road Trip and the MAYBE trio engage in ad hoc antics.

Admire some of the 20th century’s most ingenious and revolutionary celebrity and fashion photographs in two related exhibitions: Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008 at the Royal Ontario Museum and Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, the Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Both highly anticipated shows open today.

Saturday: Sit in awe of Madama Butterfly's beautiful melodies.

Saturday: Sit in awe of Madama Butterfly's beautiful melody.

Saturday, September 26th
Lend your ears to the award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, who helps kick off the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s new season with an homage to the music of Johannes Brahms.

Roll out your mat and stretch into your favourite asana for morning yoga on the manicured grounds of Casa Loma. The session includes a concert by kirtan yoga band Guara Shakt post-sun salutation.

Be moved by the tragic love story between a geisha and a U.S. naval officer in the Canadian Opera Company’s opening performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

Sunday: Hear Margaret Atwood at the International Festival of Authors.

Sunday: Hear Margaret Atwood at the International Festival of Authors.

Sunday, September 27th
Sing along to “Octopus’s Garden” as Canadian artists belt out classic Beatles tunes in the Art of Time Ensemble’s special presentation of the Fab Four’s final album, Abbey Road.

At the nationwide book and magazine festival The Word on the Street, hear acclaimed author Margaret Atwood talk about her latest literary masterpiece, The Year of the Flood.

Rifle through the sample-sale racks to find the perfect one-of-a-kind party frock at The Clothing Show, Canada’s largest weekend-long independent designer and vintage shopping event.

September Hot Date: Opera’s Famed Butterfly

<em>Madama Butterfly</em> (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company).OPENS SEPTEMBER 26 The Canadian Opera Company celebrates its 60th anniversary by staging a tragedy—Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. An affecting story of the doomed love between a sweet and naïve geisha, Cio-Cio San, and Pinkerton, a U.S. naval officer stationed in Japan, is considered one of the most popular operas of all time. And for good reason—its exotic setting, ill-fated romance and memorable score are the hallmarks of a timeless classic. COC mainstay David Pomeroy lends his pathos and tenor pipes as Pinkerton, while Romanian soprano Adina Nitescu makes her company debut in the title role. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $62 to $292; call 416-363-8231 or click here to buy.