A Japanese story of unfulfilled desire, betrayal and honour.
The State OperaApproximate running time
3 hours 10 minutes, 2 intermission (20 minutes) minutesLanguage
In Italian, surtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
February 4, 2016
Madama Butterfly has perhaps the simplest plot of all Puccini’s operas: a “Yankee”, Lieutenant F. B. Pinkerton, is enchanted by the picturesque Japanese milieu and the 15-year-old Cio-Cio San, nicknamed “Butterfly”, whom he marries. Yet soon, after the honeymoon is over, he abandons his young wife and leaves for the USA to wed an American woman. Three years later, Pinkerton returns to Nagasaki so as to take away the child Cio-Cio San has given birth to in the meantime.
State Opera Chorus
State Opera Orchestra
The opera is named after the renowned short story Madame Butterfly by the American lawyer and author John Luther Long, which served as the basis for a drama by the New York impresario and playwright David Belasco, which in turn directly inspired Puccini to compose his celebrated opera.
In Madama Butterfly, Puccini eschewed intricate action and boisterous dramatic events, opting instead for an intimate story and highlighting the psychology of the characters, fleshing out by his music the tiniest details, oscillations and extreme emotional surges. The contrast between the Japanese and “Western” mentality is also aptly rendered by means of many a time surprisingly modified quotations of the US national anthem, as well as a forcible depiction of the local colour of Japan. This facet is captured in Jiří Heřman’s production, which authentically represents the Japanese culture and its traditional customs. The stage director tells the well-known story in a non-traditional way – through the eyes of Cio-Cio San’s grown-up son, who traces his past in Nagasaki.
Photos from the production: Patrik Borecký
WARNING: Tobacco products are featured in the performance.
Suitable for audience from 12 years.
General media partner: Czech Television
Photo and video gallery
Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 March at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of August 2023.
When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.
What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
Parking at the State opera
While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.
Buffets at the State Opera
No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!
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