Theatre: Madame Butterfly
in Italian) is a three-act opera by Giacomo Puccini
. 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. They are happily planned to be married, but Butterfly's uncle disapproves of the fact that she renounced her religion for her husband. Her family disowns her, but Pinkerton comforts her.
In the next act, three years have passed and Pinkerton is off and gone. Butterfly is alone, and Suzuki shows up to her home with a letter from Pinkerton. Butterfly thinks the letter says he will return, and Sharpless is not sure what to say to her. He doesn't know if Pinkerton will actually return or not. Butterfly had a child back at home without him, and calls him Sorrow, until her husband comes home, saying then when he returns the child will be called Joy.
Pinkerton comes home, only to have Butterfly find out that in these past three years, he's married a woman named Kate. Sadly Butterfly accepts this, gives up her child, and chooses what she finds honorable with what she has left.It's an opera. What do you expect? A happy ending?
This opera has had countless adaptations, one with a page on this wiki being Miss Saigon
and Mademoiselle Butterfly
. It also inspired the play M. Butterfly
, and received quite a few references in Weezer
's album Pinkerton
Tropes used by the opera: