Libretto by Luigi ILLICA and Giuseppe GIACOSA

New production

  • Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
  • Fondazione Festival Pucciniano Torre del Lago

Last performance at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège : April 2001

The story

Around 1900 in Japan, American officer Pinkerton marries the young Geisha, Cio-cio-san, who loves him with passion. From this union, a child is born, but the lieutenant who has returned home, ignores that he is now a father. On a journey to Japan three years later with his American wife, he comes to take his son. Betrayed and abandoned, there is only one way out for Cio-cio-san


Thanks to the success of Tosca, the now famous Puccini was seeking a new subject able to provide him with a deeply tragic remit. He set his sights on a play by playwright David Belasco, Madame Butterfly, inspired by true events: the disastrous love story of a young girl, Cio-cio-san, whose name means “Butterfly” in Japanese.

Madama Butterfly was a dream opportunity to draw on the “Japanism” that was fashionable in the West in the late 19th century. Seeking brand new colours and unique atmospheres, the musician studied the language, culture and music of Japan, not hesitating to use several authentic melodies. The result is deeply moving. The author stated that it was his “most sincere and most expressive” opera.

A sublime portrait of a fragile woman/child filled with purity and ideals, the masterpiece of the Maestro from Lucca has lost none of its force, offering audiences a wonderful moment of human and musical emotion.

Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers

All the opera performances are preceded by an educational introduction open to all. They take place 30 minutes before the start of the performance, in the company of an opera specialist to provide a pertinent presentation of the work.


Online, Saturday 21th of september, on France TV platform at 8PM