A production of “Madama Butterfly” designed by noted Omaha artist Jun Kaneko stunned and delighted audiences when Opera Omaha debuted it in 2006.

It’s now returning to the city for the first time since then for two performances this weekend. Joseph Rescigno is conductor and Leslie Swackhamer is the director.

The story of Giacomo Puccini’s opera is a familiar one: An innocent young Japanese woman falls in love with an American naval officer with tragic consequences that prompt her to sacrifice what she loves most. It’s one of the most popular operas of all time.

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Kaneko designed both the set and the costumes, using the bright colors and innovation that have become his hallmarks. His version of this classic has been performed by the San Francisco Opera, the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, the Atlanta Opera and Opera Philadelphia, among other companies.

Each of the top six singers in the new production is making his or her mainstage debut with Opera Omaha.

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Tickets range from $19 to $99 and are available at ticketomaha.com or 402-345-0606.

Prelude talks 50 minutes before each performance will offer information about the story, music and history of the opera. They start at 6:40 p.m. in the theater’s lobby.

Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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