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Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

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Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly

Closed April 11, 2020

A modern Met Opera classic

Why See Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly?

Classical & OperaClassic

The opera that inspired a Broadway smash hit

Anthony Minghella's breathtakingly beautiful and powerfully dramatic production returns, with the lead roles of Cio-Cio San shared by Hui He and Ana Maria Martinez. Widely known as the opera that inspired the Broadway musical Miss Saigon; the tragic story sees a young Japanese bride abandoned by her American husband for a new wife back home. 

What is the story?

The title character Madama Butterfly or, Cio-Cio San to her friends - is a young Japanese geisha who naively believes her marital arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage. One of the most defining and tragic roles in contemporary opera, the story looks behind the Orientalism and casual imperialism to the people affected directly by the actions of Pinkerton and his callous attitude towards his young bride, who he leaves with their child, only to return three years later with a new, American-born wife. Rather than live in shame, Cio-Cio San chooses to die with honor, committing suicide with the very same knife used by her father, but not before shielding her son's eyes first.

One of the most and stirring and tearjerking musical pieces in the opera is the iconic Humming Chorus, which takes place off-stage as Butterfly, her son, and her maid Suzuki start the long vigil through the night as they wait for Pinkerton's ship to dock at Nagasaki.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 11 October 2019


Suitable for ages 12+

Run time

Three hours and fifteen minutes with two intermissions

And before you stop reading

Sung in Italian with Met Titles in English, German and Spanish

Cast and Creative


Hui He and Ana Maria Martinez as Cio Cio
Piero Pretti and Andrea Care as Pinkerton
Paulo Szot and Markus Bruck as Sharpless


Conductor - Pier Giorgio Morandi
Composer - Puccini
Librettists - Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Production - Anthony Minghella
Director and Choreographer - Carolyn Choa
Set Designer - Michael Levine
Costume Designer- Han Feng
Lighting Designer - Peter Mumford
Puppetry - Blind Summit Theatre

What we thought

Flawless intense DELICATE

A timeless story of love and betrayal told flawlessly

This production does honor to Puccini's masterpiece and to the superb achievement of the artists on stage, but more than that, it tells a timeless tale of love and betrayal, flawlessly. Bravo!

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Josephine Knight

Josephine Knight

What you thought

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

5.0 star rating

Anonymous: “An hour later and I'm still sobbing !”

My wife and I have just watched this live from the Met in our VUE cinema... more

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