One of the world’s most beloved operas, Giacomo Puccini’s tragic three-act Madama Butterfly, is coming to the Opéra de Nice this March.

Originally conceived as a two-act opera and featuring an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, ‘Madama Butterfly‘ is based on a 1898 short story of the same name, written by John Luther Long, and an earlier novel, ‘Madame Chrysanthème‘ by Pierre Lotti.

To create this tale of love and betrayal, Puccini spent a lot of time studying Japanese cultural customs, but faced with the audience’s initial tepid response – the opera’s actual premiere at La Scala in Milan in 1904 was indeed a dismal failure – he was forced to modify the tragedy and reintroduce it a few month later in the form that we know it today.


A masterpiece had been born and now, nearly a century later, this unforgettable story represents one of Puccini´s most important works, along with ‘La Bohême‘ and ‘Tosca‘.

Madama Butterfly‘ is set in Nagasaki in the early 1890’s, when 15-yearl old Cio-Cio-San, also known to her friends as Butterfly, gives up her faith and her family to marry Officer B.F. Pinkerton, an American naval lieutenant stationed in Japan.

Soon thereafter, Pinkerton is called back to the United States. He promises his pregnant wife that he will come back to her, but when he does so, three years later, he is remarried, and Butterfly who has dutifully waited for her love, understands that she has been betrayed and kills herself with her father’s sword to recover her lost honour.

Combining music of poignant beauty with a powerful story of love and devotion, ‘Madama Butterfly‘ never fails to move the audience every time it is performed. The lead role will be played by soprano Cellia Costea, and that of Pinkerton by tenor Walter Fraccaro, with the Orchestra and Choir of the Opéra de Nice in attendance.

The Opera House in Vieux Nice

Madama Butterfly will be performed at the Opéra de Nice on the following dates:

Friday 15th of March at 8.00pm
Sunday 17th of March at 3.00pm
Tuesday 19th of March at 8.00pm
Thursday 21st of March at 8.00pm

Further information is available on the Nice Opéra website. Tickets range in price from 5€ (students) to 78€, and may be reserved online or by calling

Opéra de Nice Côte d’Azur
4, rue Saint-François de Paule
06300 Nice

Tel: 04 92 17 40 00

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Lead image credit: choreograph / 123RF Stock Photo



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