Broadcast live from Glyndebourne

Madama Butterfly

By Giacomo Puccini

Madama Butterfly is a classic love story that never fails to move, a tragic romance that sweeps you along in the intensity of its action.

When an innocent young Geisha meets an American naval officer she falls instantly and deeply in love. Giving up her family and her faith, she risks all in marriage to the dashing Lieutenant Pinkerton. But her fragile happiness cannot last. Soon love turns to abandonment and betrayal, and Butterfly is forced to make one final, agonising sacrifice.

Bursting with exotic colour and memorable melodies, Puccini’s seductive score conceals a dramatic blade that cuts to the heart. Blending authentic Japanese music with luscious European harmonies and orchestration, the opera is an irresistible fusion of East and West.

Praised by critics as a ‘thoughtful, provocative staging’ and a ‘scathing study of exploitation’, Annilese Miskimmon’s production updates the action to the 1950s. This post-war setting brings to the fore the darker elements of Puccini’s story. Little wonder that this opera has inspired numerous contemporary adaptations and reimaginings, including the hit musical Miss Saigon.


Sung in Italian with English subtitles. 

Also on screen this summer: the critically acclaimed 2015 production of Handel’s Saul and the rare opportunity to see Samuel Barber’s Pulitzer prize-winning opera from the age of Hitchcock, Vanessa.


Creative team:

Conductor Omer Meir Wellber

Director Annilese Miskimmon

Designer Nicky Shaw


Cast includes:

Cio-Cio-San Olga Busuioc

Suzuki Elizabeth DeShong

Lieutenant B F Pinkerton Joshua Guerrero

London Philharmonic Orchestra

The Glyndebourne Chorus



‘The emotional impact of the piece is devastating.’ The Stage


Box Office 01923 225671

Tickets £15.50 (no concessions)