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1 Sep – 4 Oct 2018

Madama Butterfly

Revival premiere for Puccinis excruciatingly beautiful opera, directed by Yoshi Oïda. A heart-rending tragedy about cultural clashes and human relationships. 

A three-act opera by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924). Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.

Performed in Italian with surtitles in both Swedish and English.

Madama Butterfly, trailer
“An absolutely astonishing performance”GP
”Yoshi Oïdas direction is magnificent”Radio p4 Sjuhärad
Puccini’s achingly beautiful opera is a tragedy of human relationships and international power play. Standing at the centre of this struggle is Cio-Cio-San, known as Butterfly, a strong young woman who risks the chance for a better life.

While stationed in Japan, the American naval officer Pinkerton buys himself a young wife – the geisha Madame Butterfly. For Pinkerton it is all a game, but Butterfly commits entirely to her new role as an American wife, cutting all ties to her culture and family. After their child is born, the relationship becomes a matter of life and death.

This acclaimed 2016 production has great authenticity, thanks to its director Yoshi Oïdawho grew up during the post-war colonisation of Japan by the USA. Like many others, Oïda looked up to the American soldiers and was attracted by the Western lifestyle, but had too much pride to show it, unlike his young friends.

Yoshi Oïda talks about the inspiration behind his direction (Recorded in 2015)
Madama Butterfly is a masterful study of the beauty and pain of being human, where the Puccini’s music matches the emotions of the supremely tragic story. A line runs from Puccini’s music straight into our hearts.

We have chosen to present an earlier version of the work (Brescia) than the version which is more usually performed. The Brescia version is a less polite narrative that is more critical of colonialism and exoticism. The South Korean soprano Karah Sonreappears in the title role, while Irish tenor Aaron Cawley is new to the role of Pinkerton. Conducted by Henrik SchaeferMusical Director for the Göteborg Opera Orchestra.


Take the opportunity to learn more about the performance and get insight into the story and the background. Introductions take place either on our Small Stage or in the Opera Bar an hour before opera and dance performances (but are not held before premieres, guest performances or dance performances which have a physical introduction).

Introductions do not cost anything extra, use your performance ticket to enter. Introduction take about 20 minutes and are presented in Swedish. They are popular, so come early to make sure you get a seat!

Japanese cliché or the real thing?

Listen to the panel discussion introducing the 2016 production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Participants: director Yoshi Oïda, conductor Manlio Benzi and soloist Jung Nan Yoon (Butterfly). Our invited guest was Yael Feiler, PhD – expert on post-colonial theory.

Göran Gademan (dramaturge) chairs the panel and the discussion is in English.


Contact us

Christina Nilssons Gata, 411 04 Göteborg
Telephone (switch) 031–10 80 00
Ticket office & Restaurant 031–13 13 00

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