Madame Butterfly Puccini

Posted : admin On 1/25/2022

Madama Butterfly, opera in three acts (originally two acts) by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa) that premiered at La Scala opera house in Milan on February 17, 1904. The work is one of the most frequently performed of all operas. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, a young U.S. Navy lieutenant, has arranged with Goro, a marriage broker, to acquire a fifteen-year-old Japanese bride, Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly). Pinkerton takes a 999-year lease on a home overlooking Nagasaki harbor; this lease, as well as his marriage, can conveniently be canceled on a month's notice.

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  2. Madame Butterfly Puccini

Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly) - Japaneseformer geisha girl, to be married to Pinkerton - soprano
Suzuki - her servant - mezzo-soprano
B. F. Pinkerton - American naval lieutenant; to bemarried to Cio-Cio-San - tenor
Kate Pinkerton - his later American wife -mezzo-soprano (Act III)
Sharpless - American Consul in Nagasaki -baritone
Goro - marriage broker - tenor
The Bonzo- Cio-Cio-San's uncle, a Buddhistpriest - bass (Act I)
Prince Yamadori - wealthy suitor to Cio-Cio-San -baritone (Act II)
Trouble - Cio-Cio-San's child by Pinkerton -non-singing role (Acts II-III)
+ Cio-Cio-San's mother, the Imperial Commisioner, the OfficialRegistrar, Cio-Cio-San's relatives and friends, servants

Time: beginning of 20th century; Place: Nagasaki,Japan

Act I

Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, a young U.S. Navy lieutenant, has arranged withGoro, a marriage broker, to acquire a fifteen-year-old Japanese bride,Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly). Pinkerton takes a 999-year lease on a homeoverlooking Nagasaki harbor; this lease, as well as his marriage, canconveniently be canceled on a month's notice. Sharpless, the American Consul anda friend of Pinkerton's, arrives to witness the wedding. He warns Pinkerton notto treat the marriage lightly, as his bride-to-be is truly in love with him.Though Pinkerton claims to be infatuated with Butterfly, he proposes a toast tothe American woman he will one day wed. Butterfly arrives for her wedding. Shetells Sharpless that her family was once wealthy, but hard times forced her tobecome a geisha. After she admits that her father is dead, Goro tells Pinkertonthat he committed ritual suicide at the Mikado's command. Butterfly's relativesarrive, and the wedding proceeds. The festivities are interrupted as the Bonze,Butterfly's uncle and a Buddhist priest, enters to denounce her for forsakingtheir ancestral religion. Pinkerton angrily orders the guests to leave. Hecomforts the distraught Butterfly, and the newlyweds proclaim theirlove.

Act II

Pinkerton has been gone from Nagasaki for three years. Suzuki, Butterfly'sdevoted maid, fears that he will not keep his promise to return; yet Butterflyconfidently and patiently awaits his homecoming. Sharpless arrives to readButterfly a letter he received from Pinkerton, who has since taken an Americanwife. Goro, who ushers in Prince Yamadori, a potential suitor for Butterfly,interrupts him. When Sharpless finally reads Pinkerton's letter to Butterfly,she gradually realizes that she has been abandoned. She sends for her young son,Sorrow, sure that Pinkerton will return when he learns that he has a son.Butterfly insists that she would rather die than be a geisha again. Suddenly, acannon booms in the harbor, signaling the arrival of Pinkerton's ship. Butterflyand Suzuki decorate the house and await Pinkerton's return in an all-nightvigil.


Madame Butterfly Puccini Youtube

Pinkerton, his wife Kate, and Sharpless arrive at Butterfly's house. They askSuzuki to tell Butterfly that they wish to take Sorrow to live with them inAmerica. Butterfly enters, anxiously seeking Pinkerton, but he has fled inremorse. She meets Kate, and reluctantly agrees to surrender her child ifPinkerton will come for him in half an hour. Solemnly, Butterfly prepares fordeath. After bidding farewell to Sorrow, she commits suicide. Pinkerton rushesinto the house, only to find Butterfly dead.

(from New York City Opera Web site)


Madame Butterfly Puccini

  • Cho-Cho-San shows her baby to Suzuki.

  • The marriage broker fixes a date for Cho-Cho-San to meet Prince Yamadori.

  • Cho-Cho-San dressed in her finery for the meeting with Yamadori.

  • Suzuki holds up a mirror and urges Cho-Cho-San to get some rest before Pinkerton's arrival.

  • 'Pitiful Kwannon!' cries Cho-Cho-San after looking in the mirror.

  • Suzuki and Cho-Cho-San hide behind a shoji as they await the arrival of Pinkerton.

  • As night falls and Pinkerton fails to arrive, Cho-Cho-San lights a paper lantern.

  • With a sword in her lap, Cho-Cho-San prepares to commit suicide.