Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini

Madama Butterfly

Upcoming Performances

Wednesday

Mar 6 at 7 PM

Saturday

Mar 9 at 8 PM

Thursday

Mar 14 at 7:30 PM

Friday

Apr 26 at 8 PM

Tuesday

Apr 30 at 7:30 PM

Saturday

May 4 at 8 PM

Tuesday

May 7 at 7:30 PM

Saturday

May 11 at 1 PM

$25 rush tickets are available for every performance and go on sale for Monday through Friday evening performances at noon, for matinees four hours before curtain, and for Saturday evenings at 2:00PM. Learn more about the Met's rush ticketing program here.

Overview

Extraordinary sopranos Aleksandra Kurzak and Asmik Grigorian (in her highly anticipated Met debut) tackle the demanding role of Cio-Cio-San, the loyal geisha at the heart of Puccini’s devastating tragedy. Tenors Matthew Polenzani and Jonathan Tetelman co-star as the callous American naval officer Pinkerton, whose betrayal destroys her. Mezzo-sopranos Elizabeth DeShong and Eve Gigliotti share the role of the steadfast maid Suzuki, and baritones Davide Luciano and Lucas Meachem are the American consul Sharpless. Acclaimed maestro Xian Zhang makes her Met debut conducting Anthony Minghella’s vivid production.

Please note that video cameras will be in operation during the May 7 and May 11 performances as part of the Met’s Live in HD series of cinema transmissions.

A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, and the Lithuanian National Opera

Production a gift of Mercedes and Sid Bass

Revival a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Austin T. Fragomen, Jr.

Languages

Languages sung in Madama Butterfly

Sung In

Italian

Titles

Title languages displayed for Madama Butterfly

Met Titles In

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Timeline

Timeline for the show, Madama Butterfly

Estimated Run Time

3 hrs

  • House Opens

  • Act I

    60 mins

  • Intermission

    30 mins

  • Acts II and III

    90 mins

  • Opera Ends

Madama Butterfly

World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1904. The title character of Madama Butterfly—a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage—is one of the defining roles in opera. The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.

Creators

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works remain staples in the repertory of most of the world’s opera companies. His librettists for Madama Butterfly, Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, had also collaborated with the composer on his previous two operas, Tosca and La Bohème. Giacosa, a dramatist, was responsible for the stories and Illica, a poet, worked primarily on the words themselves.

PRODUCTION

Anthony Minghella

DIRECTOR / CHOREOGRAPHER

Carolyn Choa

SET DESIGNER

Michael Levine

COSTUME DESIGNER

Han Feng

LIGHTING DESIGNER

Peter Mumford

PUPPETRY

Blind Summit Theatre

Headshot of Giacomo Puccini

COMPOSER

Giacomo Puccini

Setting

Madama Butterfly

The opera takes place in the Japanese port city of Nagasaki at the turn of the last century, at a time of expanding American international presence. Japan was hesitantly defining its global role, and Nagasaki was one of the country’s few ports open to foreign ships. Temporary marriages for foreign sailors were not unusual.

Music

Puccini achieved a new level of sophistication with his use of the orchestra in this score, with subtle colorings and sonorities throughout. But the opera rests squarely on the performer of the title role: On stage for most of the time, Cio-Cio-San is the only character that experiences true (and tragic) development. The singer must convey an astounding array of emotions and characteristics, from ethereal to fleshly to intelligent to dreamy-bordering-on-insane, to resigned in the final scene.

Videos

Madama Butterfly