The current run of Madama Butterfly had deja vu written all over it again: same set; same soprano; Patricia Racette in the role of Cio-cio-san, the Japanese wife betrayed by the American officer; same Suzuki (Zheng Cao), Cio-cio-san's maid. We had seen the show a year and a half ago, and the only thing missing in the current run was the simulcast on the Civic Center plaza.

Practice makes perfect though: everything ran smoothly, and whatever kinks there were last time, they got ironed out. They kicked out the dead wood, and replaced the under-performing Pinkerton and Sharpless by two new singers, both making their SF opera debut in this production. Keep what's good, improve the rest, you got a recipe for a spectacular success.