''Madame Butterfly'' (''Madama Butterfly'' in Italian) is a three-act opera by Music/GiacomoPuccini. Based on both the French novel ''Madame Chrysanthème'' and the American short story and play ''Madame Butterfly'' and ''Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan'', 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 the 1922 film ''Film/TheTollOfTheSea'', and received quite a few references in Music/{{Weezer}}'s album ''Music/{{Pinkerton}}''.
!!Tropes used by the opera:

* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder: Oh, Pinkerton. He seems fond of Butterfly in Act I. Then after he leaves, it appears he's completely forgotten his Japanese home - no letters, no money, and, oh yeah, he marries an American woman.
* AdaptationalHeroism:
** Pinkerton. In the novel, he's the one who bans Butterfly from seeing her family. In the play, he thinks they're silly, but is understandably horrified by their renunciation of her. The novel also gives no indication that he feels the slightest guilt for how he's treated Butterfly.
** Kate (named Adelaide in the novel) is also made kinder and empathetic in the opera; in the novel she looks forward to taking away the baby and doesn't care how the mother will feel.
* AgeLift: In the original novel, Suzuki is younger than Butterfly. On-stage, she's usually cast as being older than Butterfly, giving them a MaidAndMaiden dynamic.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Sharpless, in Act II, asks Butterfly "What would you do if Pinkerton never came back?" This question slams the music to a halt, and it totally changes the tone of their conversation. Butterfly slowly answers that she could return to being a geisha, or, better yet, she could die. [[StepfordSmiler Her pleasant demeanor falls away,]] she turns grim, and soon demands that Sharpless leave.
* AsianBabymama: The main character, odd for the trope.
* AsianSpeekeeEngrish: Played straight in the novel - Butterfly only speaks English because Pinkerton has forbidden her from speaking Japanese in his house, and her dialogue is painful to read today. Averted in the opera, where everyone speaks perfect Italian - see YouNoTakeCandle, below.
* 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 clearly never loved her at all and has married an American woman and c) they've come to take her child - the only thing 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: The dagger that Butterfly uses to eventually kill herself..
* 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.
** The play's ending might turn this into a SubvertedTrope. From a Christian viewpoint, by committing suicide Butterfly damns herself. Her action makes the most sense if she abandons the faith in her darkest hour.
* DeathByAdaptation: In the original short story by John Luther Long, Butterfly survives. Her maid's attempt [[InterruptedSuicide to avert her suicide by pushing her son into the room]] ''works,'' and Butterfly, her maid, and her son flee before Pinkerton returns. It was David Belasco, the playwright, who introduced the tragic ending.
* DownerEnding: Pinkerton never returns to Butterfly, but only returns to Japan to clean up loose ends before returning to live in America with his wife. Cast out from her family, rejected by the man that she loves, facing a future of dire poverty, without her son and without honor, Butterfly commits suicide. As she dies, she gets to hear Pinkerton's voice one last time - that's as happy as it gets. The original short story the Opera is based on was actually a BittersweetEnding, as seen above.
* DrinkOrder: Whiskey is the drink preferred of Americans, such as Pinkerton and Sharpless.
* {{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.
* EmotionallyTongueTied: Sharpless in Act II. Not only is he constantly interrupted (once by an inconveniently timed royal procession), but he knows the message he carries will break Butterfly's heart.
* 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). It [[MeaningfulName suits him]], given that Franklin was both an important diplomat and a famous womanizer.
* FlowersOfRomance: At the end of Act II, Butterfly and Suzuki sing the "Flower Duet" where they decorate the house with all the flowers in the garden, transforming the simple house into a bower worthy of a rapturous reunion.
* FourthDateMarriage: More like second. Goro the matchmaker apparently introduced Pinkerton and Butterfly in person, and they got along great. So, their second meeting is their wedding. You know, like you do.
* {{Geisha}}: Cio-Cio San was one before Pinkerton married her, and finds the thought of returning to that profession shameful.
* GiveHimANormalLife: What happens to Butterfly's son, who is adopted by Pinkerton's American family.
* GratuitousEnglish: Pinkerton and Sharpless both exclaim "America Forever!" after Pinkerton's first aria. Also, Butterfly's name should rightly either be Cio-Cio San (Japanese) or Farfalla (Italian), but everyone calls her by the English translation of her name.
* HeelRealization: Pinkerton ("Addio, fiorito asil"), when it is too late.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Oh god, Butterfly is this UpToEleven.
* IHaveNoSon: Butterfly's family's reaction when they find out she converted to Christianity.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Butterfly and her whole family, from a fine samurai bloodline. In her own lifetime, they knew great wealth, but with her father's disgrace and death, they lost everything. It looks like things will turn around when Butterfly marries Pinkerton, but at the start of Act II, all the money he left behind has dried up.
* TheIngenue: Poor Butterfly.
* InterruptedSuicide: Suzuki attempts to [[InvokedTrope Invoke]] this trope. Butterfly has sent Suzuki away, but Suzuki pushes little Sorrow, Butterfly's son, into the room to give her a reason to change her mind.
* JerkassHasAPoint: The matchmaker Goro's efforts to get Butterfly to divorce Pinkerton and marry prince Yamadori may have arisen from his own self interest and he went about it very badly, but Goro was absolutely right about Cio-Cio San's situation and the marriage would have been incredibly beneficial to her.
* 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. Pinkerton sees her as a pretty porcelain doll, a plaything for a few months, but in fact she is deeply loving and the soul of loyalty, wasted on a man not worthy of her.
* MaidAndMaiden: Butterfly, the plucky heroine, is the Maiden (albeit a married one) and practical, kindhearted Suzuki is her Maid.
* MeaningfulName:
** Pinkerton, as noted above, but also the ineffectual Sharpless and the fragile Butterfly.
** When Sharpless asks the name of Butterfly's child, she says that the little boy's name is Sorrow (or Trouble, or Pain, depending on the translation), but the day that his father returns, his name will become Joy.
* 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.
* OldRetainer: Suzuki is still around in Act II even when the other servants have left and the money is all gone. Her biggest deviation from the trope is that she's not hung up on propriety. She chatters a lot, and is openly affectionate towards Butterfly and Sorrow.
* OnlySaneMan: Suzuki and Sharpless, who are constantly trying to get their respective friends to see sense and are ''never'' listened to.
* ParentalAbandonment: At the opera's end, Butterfly's child now has a MissingMom and a dad who's got his own wife.
* TheReveal: Midway through Act II, after Sharpless has told her that Pinkerton is not coming back, Butterfly pushes aside the screens in her house and reveals her son. The music accompanying this is a powerful crescendo, which sounds equal parts triumphant and desperate.
* RewatchBonus: In Anthony Minghella's filmed production of ''Madama Butterfly,'' watch Sharpless when Pinkerton announces a toast, "To the day I wed a real American bride!" Sharpless throws his drink away rather than toast to that.
* {{Seppuku}}: Butterfly's father's knife is used for this, and is ultimately used by Butterfly to commit ''jigai'' once [[SpurnedIntoSuicide it becomes clear to her]] that Pinkerton will never be with her and that she will never see her child again.
* StepfordSmiler:
** Butterfly in Act II - she hides all her pain behind a brave face, and acts bold and confident in front of strangers. In Act III, this mask completely falls away.
** Averted in Act I - even though she was just rejected by her family, Butterfly's happiness with Pinkerton is no performance. Yeah, she loves him ''[[ThePowerOfLove that much.]]''
* 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.
* WeWait: Towards the end of Act II, when the house is ready, Butterfly instructs Suzuki and Sorrow to sit pretty and wait for Pinkerton's return. Come daybreak, Pinkerton has not returned, but they are still waiting.
* 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]].
* WickedStepmother: Averted - Kate is the cause of much of Butterfly's misfortune, including losing her son, but it's completely unintentional on her part. She's been put in a very awkward position by her husband but is clearly determined to do the right thing and raise his half-Japanese child. She promises she'll care for him as her own son, and is deeply sorry for Butterfly, begging for her forgiveness.
* 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]]. In contrast to the meekness of a "proper wife," Butterfly retains much of the panache of a geisha, such as when Yamadori comes a'courting, and she sasses him, then mocks him by impersonating an American judge ready to throw him in jail, before calmly calling for tea.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Played straight in the novel - see AsianSpeekeeEngrish, above. But where Long used Japanese character's broken English to make them seem inferior, Puccini completely averts the trope by having everyone speak perfect Italian. Furthermore, in terms of pure ''music,'' Butterfly is far and away the most eloquent and soulful of the cast.