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Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly

Closed March 16, 2018

A modern Met Opera classic

Why See Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly?

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 Ermonela Jaho, and the cruel Pinkerton sung by Roberto Aronica and Luis Chapa. This work is 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 it about?

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: 2 November 2017


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


Production: Anthony Minghella
Director and Choreographer: Carolyn Choa
Set Designer: Michael Levine
Costume Designer: Han Feng
Lighting Designer: Peter Mumford
Puppetry: Blind Summit Theatre
Conducted by Karel Mark Chichon

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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