Madama Butterfly at the Dutch National Opera
The Dutch National Opera presents Puccini’s heartbreaking opera Madama Butterfly from April 23 until May 13. Robert Wilson’s sublime staging of the perennial favourite accentuates the tragic narrative, in a coolly stylised setting. This captivating 2019 run of Madama Butterfly is a revival of the enthusiastically received 2002 production.
Japanese tragedy based on a play and novella
The Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s opera was adapted from David Belasco’s play Madame Butterfly, which in turn was based on the novella by John Luther Long and its sixteen-year-old Japanese heroine, Cio-Cio-San (‘Butterfly’).
A true story, immortalised on the opera stage
Madama Butterfly is the true story of Cio-Cio-San, AKA Butterfly, who marries the American marine officer Captain Pinkerton and has his child, only to be abandoned. The dramatic climax comes three years later, when Pinkerton and his new wife return to Japan to claim that child. Butterfly realises that what she believed to be a real marriage was merely an exotic adventure in the eyes of Officer Pinkerton.
Cio-Cio-San, alias Madama Butterfly, commits suicide by harakiri: “Better to die with honour than live with shame”, she says.
A spellbinding counterpoint of East and West
Puccini’s composition, with its spellbinding counterpoint of East and West, interweaves leitmotifs evocative of the composer Richard Wagner with authentic Japanese melodies, which the composer studied extensively. Puccini himself considered Madama Butterfly to be his most emotive and expressive opera.
Book your opera seats online
Tickets to Madama Butterfly are available on the Dutch National Opera website. Book your opera tickets in advance before all the good seats are taken!