Skip to content

Giacomo Puccini

Madama Butterfly

2 h 55 min, incl. 1 interval (30 min)
2.11.2023 – 29.11.2023
Main Stage
Price range
20–122 €
Italian. Surtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English
Age recommendation

The saddest song is sung by a broken heart

The American officer Pinkerton has bought himself a wife during his commission to Japan. Despite the temporary nature of the arrangement, Cio-Cio San falls in love with Pinkerton. When Pinkerton returns to his home country, Cio-Cio San must stay behind. When a ship brings him back after years of waiting, Cio-Cio San is in for a disappointment.

Madama Butterfly is an opera that will break your heart. The master composer Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) created his most heartfelt music for this tragedy about love and disappointment. The insightfully directed production is an ideal choice for opera first-timers, too. Are you ready for love, longing and tears?

“I was 12 years old when many American soldiers came to Japan after the Second World War. I still have clear memories of that time… the Japanese idolisation of America and the encounter of two cultures. My background gives me a personal insight into the story of Madama Butterfly, which is about a young geisha’s love of an American soldier. This production is my opportunity, and my aim is to show the beauty and dignity of human nature through my direction.”

– director yoshi oïda

watch trailer


Pinkerton, an officer in the US Navy stationed in Japan, acquires a young wife through a marriage broker. Cio-Cio San has actually fallen in love with Pinkerton and does not understand that the arrangement is a temporary one. Pinkerton returns home, the years go by, and Cio-Cio San continues to wait for his ship to return.

Finally, the ship does arrive, but it brings a devastating disappointment to Cio-Cio San: Pinkerton now has an American wife, and they have returned to Japan only to take Pinkerton’s child back with them. Heartbroken and dishonoured, Butterfly picks up her father’s dagger and takes her own life.

You can read the full synopsis and other background information in the programme booklet.

creative team

Giacomo Puccini
Harri Karri
Yoshi Oïda
Tom Schenk
Thibault Vancraenenbroeck
Lighting design
Fabrice Kebour


Hye-Youn Lee
Mika Pohjonen
Aaron Cawley
Jeni Packalen
Riikka Räsänen
Jussi Merikanto
The Commissioner
Petri Pussila
Kate Pinkerton
Anna Erokhina
Prince Yamadori
Aarne Pelkonen
Visa Kohva
The Cousin
Päivi Karjalainen
The Cousin
Leena Liimatainen
The Child
Hilda Sateila
The Child
Elia Korjus
The Official
Juha-Pekka Mitjonen

listen to Madama Butterfly

You must accept functional cookies to listen to the playlist. To modify your cookie settings, go to cookie settings at the bottom of the page.

tickets & performances

the keys to an entertaining evening

Order refreshments

Enjoy refreshments
before the show
or in the interval.
See the diverse menu
and place an order
in advance.

Programme booklets

Programme booklets
are sold by our
customer services,
the Opera Restaurant,
and our lobby
personnel for 7 euros.

Arriving at the Opera House

The Opera House
is located by the
Töölönlahti bay at
Helsinginkatu 58.
Learn the easiest
ways to get here.

Accessible seats

For accessible seats,
please call our
customer services.
Learn more about
accessibility at
the Opera House.