''Madame Butterfly'' (''Madama Butterfly'' in Italian) is a three-act opera by Music/GiacomoPuccini. Based on both the short story ''Madame Chrysanthème'' and ''Madame Butterfly'', it tells the story of Cio-Cio San (nicknamed Butterfly) in 1904, Nagasaki, Japan. Cio-Cio San, a soprano and beautiful 15 year old girl, is engaged to be married to a U.S. Naval Officer named Pinkerton. He admires her for her innocence and beauty, like a young delicate butterfly, and the fact that he can just as easily pluck her wings. He only wants to temporarily marry her until he finds an American bride, but lets the lovestruck Butterfly believe that the marriage is permanent. The wedding takes place, but Butterfly's uncle disapproves of the fact that she renounced her religion for her husband. Her family disowns her, but Pinkerton kicks out the relatives and comforts her.

In the next act, three years have passed and Pinkerton is off and gone. Butterfly has lived alone with her maid Suzuki. While Suzuki claims that Pinkerton will never return, Butterfly insists that he will return to her. Sharpless then shows up at her home with a letter from Pinkerton. Butterfly excitedly thinks the letter says he will be back soon. Sharpless is not sure what to say to her since the actual contents of the letter reveal that Pinkerton is indeed returning to Japan, but that he has moved on with his life and no longer attaches himself to his Japanese wife. When Sharpless tries to tell Butterfly this, she reveals that she gave birth to Pinkerton's child after he left. She calls him Sorrow, but declares faithfully that when her husband comes home, the child will be called Joy. Sharpless cannot bear to crush such a loyal heart and has to leave without telling her of Pinkerton's true treachery.

After he leaves, Butterfly sees Pinkerton's ship in the bay. She and Suzuki joyfully prepare the house for his arrival and then wait all night for him.

When, however, he arrives, Butterfly has fallen asleep, exhausted by her vigil. But Pinkerton does not arrive alone: He arrives with his wife, Kate, who he married after leaving Japan. Informed of the existence of the child, Pinkerton and his wife have come to take him away and raise him in America. Unable to face his guilt, Pinkerton leaves his wife to handle it. Butterfly's despair upon finding this woman in her home does not shake her composure. Kate begs for Butterfly's forgiveness and promises to treat the child as her own. With hardly any other choice, Butterfly accepts this, gives up her child, and turns to all that she has left: To die with honour when one can no longer live with honour.

[[TrueArtIsAngsty It's an opera.]] [[DownerEnding What do you expect?]] [[WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc A happy ending?]]

This opera has had countless adaptations, one with a page on this wiki being ''Theatre/MissSaigon'' and ''Manga/MademoiselleButterfly''. It also inspired the play ''Theatre/MButterfly'', and received quite a few references in Music/{{Weezer}}'s album ''Music/{{Pinkerton}}''.
!!Tropes used by the opera:

* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder
* AsianBabymama: The main character, odd for the trope.
* BreakTheCutie: More like "pulverize". Come the third act, Butterfly learns in quick succession that a) while Pinkerton has come back, it wasn't to see her, b) he's married an American woman and c) they've come to take her child - the only that's really kept her going these past three years - away from her.
* ButNotTooForeign: The half-American child is cast as blond, usually.
** As the lyrics request.
--> '''Sharpless:''' Egli è suo?[[labelnote:English]]Is it his (Pinkerton's)?[[/labelnote]]
--> '''Butterfly:''' Chi mai vide a bimbo del Giappone occhi azzurrini? E il labbro? E i ricciolini d'oro schietto? [[labelnote:English]]Who ever saw blue eyes on a Japanese boy? And the lip? And the clear golden curls?[[/labelnote]]
* CassandraTruth: Sharpless repeatedly warns Pinkerton he'll devastate Butterfly if he abandons her. Suzuki repeatedly tries to tell Butterfly that Pinkerton isn't coming back. Nobody listens to either of them.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The dagger]].
* ConvertingForLove: An especially drastic example, since a) Butterfly's family disowns her over it, and b) Pinkerton never asked her to, and totally doesn't care that she did.
* DownerEnding
* {{Eagleland}}, flavor 1: Butterfly's concept of America as a land of freedom, and Christianity as the One True Faith. The composer mocks it by introducing Pinkerton with a "Star Spangled Banner" theme.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Inverted. Contrary to common operatic tradition, the jerk Pinkerton is played by a tenor. Meanwhile, the kindly Sharpless is played by a baritone.
* FamousNamedForeigner: The American Creator/BenjaminFranklin [[PinkertonDetective Pinkerton]] (remember the opera was written in Italy).
* FourthDateMarriage: More like first.
* {{Geisha}}: Cio-Cio San was one before Pinkerton married her, and finds the thought of returning to that profession shameful.
* [[spoiler:GiveHimANormalLife]]: What happens to Butterfly's son.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Oh god, Butterfly is this UpToEleven.
* IHaveNoSon: Butterfly's family's reaction when they find out she converted to Christianity.
* TheIngenue: Poor Butterfly.
* KarmaHoudini: In the end Pinkerton essentially gets everything he wanted -- his proper American life with an inconvenient Japanese wife no longer in the picture. However, his wife Kate has promised Butterfly to care for her son as her own, leaving Pinkerton a child whose very presence will always remind him that his rashness and cruelty killed the boy's mother. Also, Kate is just as appalled as everyone else by the way he treated Butterfly, judging by the way she asks for the girl's forgiveness, and it will probably always remain between them and cool their relationship.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several. There's one for Butterfly's father's knife as well as Pinkerton's already-mentioned "Star Spangled Banner", just to name two.
* LoveMartyr: Butterfly is a resounding example.
* MeaningfulName: Pinkerton, as noted above, but also the ineffectual Sharpless and the fragile Butterfly.
* MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow: The TropeCodifier for the "exotic, submissive Asian woman falls in love with Western man" plot -- while also acting as something of a {{Deconstruction}} as Pinkerton ''ruins'' Butterfly's life with his selfish nature and thoughtlessness.
* OhCrap: Sharpless when Butterfly reveals she gave birth to Pinkerton's child during the interim three years, which makes things even ''more'' awkward.
* OnlySaneMan: Suzuki and Sharpless, who are constantly trying to get their respective friends to see sense and are ''never'' listened to.
* ParentalAbandonment: Butterfly's child now has a MissingMom and a dad who's got his own wife.
* [[spoiler:{{Seppuku}}]]: Butterfly's father's knife is used for this.
** [[spoiler:SpurnedIntoSuicide]]
* PlayingGertrude: Inverted. Butterfly is 15 years old, but usually the actresses are much older, as it can take years of training to reach the notes expected in opera.
* TheSoprano: Cio-Cio San
* UntranslatedTitle: In Italy, or any non-English speaking country. The Italian word for butterfly is "farfalla", yet the English word is used for the character's name.
* WhatHaveIDone: Pinkerton's reaction upon finding out Butterfly has waited three years for his return.
** However, some versions and/or translations have Pinkerton [[{{Angst}} angsting]] not so much about how he hurt Butterfly, but about [[ItsAllAboutMe how much the guilt hurts him]].
* YamatoNadeshiko: Massively subverted. Butterfly is ''supposed'' to be a "proper Japanese woman" and a sympathetic victim of Western racism. However, technically speaking she ''fails'' at being a YamatoNadeshiko, as [[LoveMartyr she]] [[TheIngenue completely]] [[UnrequitedTragicMaiden lacks]] [[SilkHidingSteel the required core of steel]]; nowadays, poor Butterfly is seen as a TropeCodifier on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_East_Asians_in_the_Western_world#.22China_doll.22_stereotype how NOT to write any East Asian female character]].
** Of course, Butterfly's submissiveness and naivete could just as easily be attributed to the fact that she is only 15 years old at the beginning of the story and 18 by the end.