Renowned mezzo-soprano, Zheng Cao, returns to her parking spot to discover her car has been towed. On the phone with her best friend, Elaine, Zheng expresses a frustration so intense, Elaine rightfully suspects something other than the towed car is bothering Zheng. Her suspicions are well-founded; Zheng reveals she has been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, and has been given six months to live.
Zheng’s sister, Dan, her mentor, Lula de Santos, her dear opera composer friend, Mitchell, and Elaine all react to the news of Zheng’s cancer.
Zheng and Dan wait in a hospital waiting room for an appointment with Oncology brain surgeon, Dr. David Larson. Dan comforts Zheng with stories of the origins of their names.
David enters and takes Zheng into an examination room. He asks her about her symptoms and then about her career. Zheng tells him of upcoming contracts to play Suzuki and Cherubino. As she talks about these characters, they both appear. Dr. Larson (David) leaves to prepare for the physical exam, and Cherubino teases Zheng about finding her doctor attractive. Suzuki then consoles Zheng.
Dr. Larson, speaking at a fundraiser, talks about the gamma knife procedure — a surgical procedure used to remove brain tumors using beams of radiation. He describes Zheng as his patient, how she sings in the hospital hallways.
Zheng sits in front of her mirror, embarrassed by her baldness. Suzuki attempts to lighten the mood but is unsuccessful. Dan tries to convince Zheng to go on their daily walk. Zheng throws a self-pitying tantrum, and Dan leaves frustrated. Cherubino addresses Zheng’s petulance, and Zheng makes a decision to live the moments she has left to their fullest. She leaves to join Dan on their daily walk.
Dan, Elaine, Lula, and Mitchell try to help Zheng cope with her symptoms.
Zheng waits for results from David. He tells her that the gamma knife treatment worked and she is free of brain tumors. They rejoice and share a tender moment.
A small surprise party has been organized to celebrate Zheng surviving her six month mark. David shows up with a cake and asks Zheng our on a date.
Lula coaches Zheng on Suzuki’s arietta from Act I of Madam Butterfly In preparation from her upcoming contract. Still being treated for the tumors in her lungs, liver, and spine, Zheng struggles, but Lula helps her break through her fear.
Mitchell and Elaine visit with Zheng after her triumphant performance as Cherubino. Mitchell compliments Zheng on her ability to create joy.
David proposed to Zheng on a romantic walk along the beach. Zheng at first refuses, knowing that she may not have much left to live, but after a brief intervention from Cherubino, she accepts.
A giant wedding montage during which we see bridesmaids dresses and cake tasting and the ceremony itself.
Suzuki sings an aria of foreboding.
Zheng sings her final aria in which she lets go of her mortal attachments.
Scene xv: David delivers a short eulogy for Zheng, as Zheng rises to a new plane of existence. The full company rejoices.