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“Madama Butterfly” is an opera composed by Giacomo Puccini, with a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, in the late 19th century, the opera tells the tragic tale of a young Japanese geisha named Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly) and her ill-fated love for an American naval officer, Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton.

The opera begins with Pinkerton, accompanied by the American consul Sharpless, arranging to lease a house for himself and his new bride, Cio-Cio-San, for what he views as a temporary marriage. Despite warnings from Sharpless about the potential consequences of his actions, Pinkerton remains indifferent, excited only for the temporary pleasure of being with Cio-Cio-San.

Cio-Cio-San, deeply in love with Pinkerton, eagerly awaits his return after he departs for America. She faithfully believes in their love and dreams of the day he will come back to her. Despite the passage of time and the urging of her maid Suzuki to move on, Cio-Cio-San remains steadfast in her devotion.

Eventually, Pinkerton returns to Nagasaki, accompanied by his American wife. Shocked and devastated by Pinkerton’s betrayal, Cio-Cio-San is faced with the heartbreaking reality of her situation. In a final act of desperation and honor, she chooses to take her own life rather than endure the shame of being abandoned by Pinkerton.

“Madama Butterfly” explores themes of love, betrayal, cultural clash, and the consequences of colonialism, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful but tragic story of Cio-Cio-San and Pinkerton. Puccini’s rich and evocative music heightens the emotional intensity of the narrative, making “Madama Butterfly” one of the most beloved and enduring operas in the repertoire.


March 16
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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