@bettxt:t-5>Puccini's own favorite opera, BI>Madama Butterfly$> tells the story of a U.S. Navy lieutenant named Pinkerton who promises to marry Cio-Cio-San, a geisha in Nagasaki, Japan. It is the early 20th century, and while the soldier takes his obligation lightly, the young woman commits herself for life, even after he leaves her to return to the United States. Suitably operatic complications arise when Pinkerton returns to Japan with his new American wife to find out that Cio-Cio-San has given birth to his son. The Opera Company of North Carolina will hold performances of the timeless tragedy on Friday, June 23, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 23, at 2 p.m., featuring the singing of internationally renowned soprano Maryanne Telese as Cio-Cio-San and North Carolina native John Fowler as Pinkerton. Ticket prices range from $15 to $57.50, and are available through Ticketmaster at 834-4000.