Puccini's ill-fated female characters are among his most tragic. There's the famously fragile Mimi in La Bohémeand the strong but doomed Tosca, but none of Puccini's creations suffers more than Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly. The beautiful geisha marries an American soldier, Lieutenant Pinkerton. She commits to him for life, but Pinkerton, we find out, feels less bound to Cio-Cio-San. He soon abandons her and their young son to return to the United States, where he marries another woman. He eventually returns, wife in tow, to ask Cio-Cio-San for their son. Grammy Award-winning lyric soprano Ana Maria Martinez makes her major role debut as Cio-Cio-San opposite Joseph Calleja as Pinkerton. 7 p.m. October 22, 2 p.m. October 24, and 7:30 p.m. October 30, November 2, November 5 and November 11. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-228-6737 or visit www.houstongrandopera.org. $26 to $323.
Sun., Oct. 24; Sat., Oct. 30; Tue., Nov. 2; Fri., Nov. 5; Thu., Nov. 11, 2010