34 Facts About Madama Butterfly


Madama Butterfly is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,214

Madama Butterfly has since been heard virtually every season at the Met except for a hiatus during World War II from 1942 through 1945 due to the hostilities between the United States and Japan.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,215

Madama Butterfly's is a 15-year-old Japanese girl whom he is marrying for convenience, and he intends to leave her once he finds a proper American wife, since Japanese divorce laws are very lax.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,216

Madama Butterfly had been so excited to marry an American that she had earlier secretly converted to Christianity.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,217

Pinkerton and Madama Butterfly sing a love duet and prepare to spend their first night together.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,218

Three years later, Madama Butterfly is still waiting for Pinkerton to return, as he had left shortly after their wedding.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,219

Madama Butterfly's then reveals that she gave birth to Pinkerton's son after he had left and asks Sharpless to tell him.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,220

But, as Pinkerton sees how Madama Butterfly has decorated the house for his return, he realizes he has made a huge mistake.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,221

Madama Butterfly admits that he is a coward and cannot face her, leaving Suzuki, Sharpless and Kate to break the news to Butterfly.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,222

Madama Butterfly enters the garden, greets Pinkerton and Goro, and admires the view that overlooks Nagasaki's harbor and the sea.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,223

Sharpless tells Pinkerton that he heard Madama Butterfly speak, when she visited the consulate, and he asks Pinkerton not to pluck off her delicate wings.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,224

Madama Butterfly's recognizes Pinkerton and points him out to her friends, and all bow down before him.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,225

Madama Butterfly greets Pinkerton, who asks about her difficult climb up the hill.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,226

Madama Butterfly says that, for a happy bride, the wait is even more difficult.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,227

Madama Butterfly tells Pinkerton and Sharpless that her family is from Nagasaki and was once very wealthy.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,228

Madama Butterfly greets her relatives, who have arrived for the wedding.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,229

From her sleeve, Madama Butterfly brings out to show Pinkerton all of her treasures, which include only a few handkerchiefs, a mirror, a sash, and other trinkets.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,230

Madama Butterfly tells Pinkerton that yesterday, in secret and without telling her uncle, who is a Buddhist priest, the Bonze, she went to the consulate, where she abandoned her ancestral religion and converted to Pinkerton's religion.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,231

Madama Butterfly stands over Butterfly, shouting his curses at her, when Pinkerton intervenes to stop him.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,232

Madama Butterfly hears and tells her that the Japanese gods are fat and lazy, and that the American God will answer quickly, if only He knows where they are living.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,233

Madama Butterfly assures Suzuki that Pinkerton will return, because he took care to arrange for the consul to pay the rent and to fit the house with locks to keep out the mosquitoes, relatives and troubles.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,234

At this, Madama Butterfly hears Goro laugh, and she whispers to Sharpless that Goro is a bad man.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,235

Madama Butterfly turns triumphantly to Suzuki and asks that she serve tea.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,236

Madama Butterfly is upset with Sharpless and instructs Suzuki to show him out.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,237

Suzuki and Madama Butterfly watch from the hill as the ship enters the harbor and drops anchor.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,238

Madama Butterfly's asks Suzuki why she is crying, and then she sees Sharpless and the woman in the garden.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,239

Madama Butterfly realizes that she must give up her son, and Kate asks her forgiveness.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,240

Madama Butterfly stands, sees Suzuki and tells her to close up the house, because it is too light and springlike.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,241

Madama Butterfly then kneels before the statue of Buddha and prays to her ancestral gods.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,242

Madama Butterfly's rises, takes down her father's knife, kisses the blade, and reads the inscription.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,243

Madama Butterfly tells her child not to feel sorrow for his mother's desertion but to keep a faint memory of his mother's face.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,244

Madama Butterfly's gives him a miniature American flag to wave in greeting to his father, which he does, blindfolded, throughout the following action.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,245

Madama Butterfly has been criticized by some American intellectuals for orientalism.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,246

Today Madama Butterfly is the sixth most performed opera in the world and considered a masterpiece, with Puccini's orchestration praised as limpid, fluent and refined.

FactSnippet No. 1,220,247