Japanese tragedy in three acts

Composer Giacomo Puccini · Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
In Italian with English and German surtitles

Saturday, 18. November 2006
07:30 pm – 10:25 pm

Duration est. 2 hours 55 minutes · 1 Interval between 1. Teil and 2. Teil (est. 08:30 pm - 09:00 pm )

Open ticket sales

Download Cast List (PDF) To List of Performances

Dates & Tickets

To List of Performances


Musikalische Leitung
Frédéric Chaslin
Wolf Busse
Otto Stich
Silvia Strahammer
Stellario Fagone

Angela-Maria Blasi
Heike Grötzinger
B. F. Pinkerton
Zoran Todorovich
Kate Pinkerton
Anaïk Morel
Franco Vassallo
Goro Nakodo
Peter Marsh
Der Fürst Yamadori
Christian Rieger
Onkel Bonzo
Steven Humes
Rüdiger Trebes
Der Kaiserliche Kommissär
Nikolay Borchev
Der Standesbeamte
Gerhard Auer
Die Mutter der Cio-Cio-San
Die Base
Die Tante
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper

Besetzung für alle Termine

To List of Performances

Media Centre

To List of Performances

Learn more

The U.S. Forces show their presence world-wide: American Lieutenant Pinkerton has an affair in Nagasaki with Cio-Cio San, "Madame Butterfly". He sails away. She then has his child. Three years later he returns to Japan – accompanied by his American wife and wants to take the child with him. Butterfly commits suicide.


Act I

The U.S. naval officer Pinkerton, along with a marriage broker named Goro, comes to inspect a house near Nagasaki he has bought to live with the geisha Butterfly, whom he plans to marry according to Japanese law. This law however allows him to abandon his wife whenever he feels like it. He casually brushes off the warnings of the American Consul Sharpless, who has told him that Butterfly takes love and marriage very seriously. Before Butterfly appears, he drinks a toast "to a future marriage with a genuine American woman". Butterfly now appears with her friends, attended by members of her family. Hardly has the marriage ceremony ended when Butterfly's uncle arrives and curses the girl for having renounced the faith of her ancestors. Cast out by all the others, all Butterfly has left is her great love.

Act II

Three years have passed. After a brief period of happiness, Pinkerton has left Butterfly. She lives with her servant Suzuki, confidently waiting for her husband's return, although she has not received a single sign of life from him. The consul comes to visit Butterfly. He explains to her that Pinkerton will never return. He cannot bring himself to tell Butterfly that he has married an American woman. Then she triumphantly shows him Pinkerton's child. Sharpless leaves the house after advising her to marry the rich Yamadori who has been courting her. She however feels bound to Pinkerton and refuses. Then the cannon in the harbor goes off. Butterfly recognizes Pinkerton's vessel. Full of hope, she decorates the room and waits in her bridal gown for her beloved.


Morning dawns. Butterfly has been waiting in vain all night. Finally she goes into the next room with the child in her arms to get a little rest. Pinkerton and Sharpless arrive. Suzuki finds out the whole story. Lamenting, she promises to prepare Butterfly for the worst. Full of remorse, Pinkerton goes running off. Awakened by the sound of the voices, Butterfly returns to the room: full of hope she looks for Pinkerton. Suddenly a strange woman appears. Butterfly discovers the truth from Sharpless. As if this weren't enough - they want her to turn over her child. All that remains for Butterfly is death.

English translation by Donald Arthur

© Bavarian State Opera

read more

Premiere of Giacomo Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" on June 5, 1973 in the Nationaltheater 

To List of Performances


wurde in Paris geboren und studierte Klavier und Dirigieren in seiner Heimatstadt. Er war Assistent von Daniel Barenboim beim Orchestre de Paris und bei den Bayreuther Festspielen sowie bei Pierre Boulez und dem Ensemble Intercontemporain. 1991 bis 1993 war Generalmusikdirektor der Opéra de Normandie in Rouen. Operneinladungen erfolgten u.a. nach Venedig, Düsseldorf, Paris, Rom, Tel Aviv, Madrid (Neuproduktion Falstaff), Leipzig (Neuproduktion Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Berlin (Neuproduktion Luisa Miller an der Deutschen Oper), Hamburg (Neuproduktion Lucia di Lammermoor), Mannheim und zu den Festspielen von Bregenz und Edinburgh. Seit 1998 ist er ständiger Gast der Wiener Staatsoper, wurde ein Jahr später Chefdirigent des Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, das er bis 2002 leitete, und debütierte 2002 an der New Yorker Metropolitan Opera. Seit 2005 ist er Generalmusikdirektor am Nationaltheater Mannheim. Partie an der Bayerischen Staatsoper: La traviata, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Roméo et Juliette, Carmen.

To List of Performances


To List of Performances