Talk:Madama Butterfly

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Another Adaptation[edit]

Schiller(the musician) also used a song of this opera for "Ein schöner Tag" (i was looking for this after watching magnetic rose... i was wondering where i knew this song from) Calined (talk) 20:16, 7 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Malcolm McLaren, too, used Un Bel Di Vedremo in his track of the same name as the opera, from his Fans album in 1984. That song., or the album, should have an article too. It may not be the greatest thing he's done but just like Buffalo Gals brought scratching and rapping to attention outside hiphop circles, Madame Butterfly prefigured some of the most striking trends of '90s pop and triphop :the droning, slightly house-like beat, the general opera influence and the dreamy, floating vocals. Back in the eighties just about no one thought pop and dance music would ever approach opera. Strausszek (talk) 15:23, 8 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Butterfly’s blindness"?[edit]

"Yamadori, Sharpless and Goro quietly discuss Butterfly’s blindness." Is "blindness" the best word here? — (talk) 04:22, 4 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Where is the prelude to act 1??? there is nothing in here that even talks about it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have added it as the first item of the synopsis. Regards. Francesco Malipiero (talk) 22:51, 5 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Performance History[edit]

If Puccini wrote the "standard version" in 1907, how did this happen? "Premieres of the standard version in major opera houses throughout the world include those in Buenos Aires on July 2, 1904, this being the first performance in Argentina. In London its first performance in Britain was given on July 10, 1905 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, while the first US performance was presented in English on October 15, 1906, in Washington, D.C. at the Columbia Theater. The first performance in New York took place on November 12 of the same year at the Garden Theater.[8] Four years later, the first Australian performance was presented at the Theatre Royal in Sydney on March 26, 1910." (talk) 18:40, 18 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two synopses?[edit]

User Jivadent (talk · contribs) recently added a second synopsis ("Synopsis (summary)") to the article. I can't see any need for two such sections and suggest either to remove the "summary" or somehow incorporate the three paragraphs into the beginning of each act of the existing synopsis ("standard version"). -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think having a concise summary of the 'standard' plot is a very useful and welcome addition. I think it might improve the article overall to split off the current "standard" version, which, though very informative, is rather too long and detailed to be called a synopses, to become a page on it's own where much more detailed information about Puccini's revisions can be incorporated. Mighty Antar (talk) 11:47, 4 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Music Box?[edit]

This scholar believes he discovered the source of Puccini's inspiration in a museum music box: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 11 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Used in Doctor Who (1996)[edit]

In the Doctor Who 1996 movie, Grace Holloway, a heart surgeon, is at an opera performance of Madam Butterfly when she is called in to work on the injured Doctor. She puts a CD on to play while she works, also Madam Butterfly. He recognizes the piece and its composer when he awakens, as the level of anesthesia they had given him was not enough for his Time Lord physiology. Later on, after he dies, regenerates, and, although he has amnesia, finds her again, while she is listening to his hearts, he picks up the same disc that she'd brought with her, suddenly recalling meeting Puccini. JenniferRSong (talk) 06:48, 9 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This tangential information is probably best put in Doctor Who (1996), if anywhere, with a link back to Madama Butterfly rather than the other way around. I note that the opera isn't mentioned once in the current Dr. Who movie article. Voceditenore (talk) 08:40, 9 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Moving this section here for now[edit]

I'm moving the following unencyclopedic section here for now, so that experienced editors can comment on it and decide what to do with it:

Racism and Sexism Controversy

Madama Butterfly has been criticized as racist, sexist, and outdated by some opera critics, anti-racists, and feminists, as it portrays the title character as being a helpless, feminine, submissive Asian woman who is taken advantage of by a white man, which are among common negative stereotypes of Asian women. Further controversy surrounds the opera's use of yellowface makeup to attempt to make non-Asian performers look more Asian, a practice now considered racist by many.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


  1. ^ "Racism and sexism in operas". Opera Vivra. May 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2017. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |publicationdate= ignored (|publication-date= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ "Opera expert says Puccini's Butterfly is 'racist'". The Telegraph. February 14, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2017. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |publicationdate= ignored (|publication-date= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ "Opera's Old-Fashioned Race Problem". The Atlantic. July 23, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2017. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |publicationdate= ignored (|publication-date= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ "One fine obscenity". The Guardian. February 13, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2017. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |publicationdate= ignored (|publication-date= suggested) (help)
  5. ^ "Yellowface in opera is a problematic issue". Daily Trojan. March 6, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2017. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |publicationdate= ignored (|publication-date= suggested) (help)
  6. ^ "An Open Letter to White People on Their Love for Madama Butterfly". YOMYOMF. September 16, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2017. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |publicationdate= ignored (|publication-date= suggested) (help)

--Softlavender (talk) 07:01, 28 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • There is no reason in principle why there should not be a paragraph on this topic in the article. but it will need better sources, and a better reading of the sources given. E.g. Opera Vivra, Yomyomf and Daily Trojan (the only source I think for the 'yellowface' argument) appear to be (in effect) blogs and not reliable sources for citations. The Telegraph and The Guardian articles are about the same academic opera authority, Roger Parker (in fact the Telegraph article seems to be simply a rip-off of the Guardian one). The Guardian article further points out how production style could subvert the 'colonialist' attitudes of the opera. The whole issue therefore needs to be placed in a context, to avoid NNPOV.Smerus (talk) 09:46, 28 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If incorporated into the article in any form, it would need to appear as a small part of a Reception section. Since as of now there is no "Reception" section, it would be entirely WP:UNDUE and POV to include it, as it is a form of cherry-picked WP:SOAPBOXing. -- Softlavender (talk) 10:03, 28 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Well I agree that elements of this would be appropriate in a 'reception' section, so the answer is for someone to write one. I should add that of course it is clearly pointless to suggest that the opera is per se 'racist', 'sexist' or 'outdated' - although it would be appropriate to indicate that it is conceived by some as transgressing some current social attitudes of 'correctness'. The coverage of anti-semitism issues in The Merchant of Venice article, and the coverage of issues relating to The Mikado, may (or may not) give some useful context to an approach here. And, by the way, what about Turandot ....or Otello.....or indeed Aida....once you get started, you could end up with a vast acreage of tedious wading through contemporary fashionable opinion without throwing much, or any, light on the topic of the article. - Smerus (talk) 10:14, 28 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"... a proper American wife..."[edit]

I respectfully suggest that the sentence containing "... a proper American wife..." (in Act 1 of the description) be modified to say precisely what is intended, namely that he has no intention of remaining married to the young woman of 15 years of age. I suggest something along the lines of 'he intends to enter into a bona-fide marriage after this marriage of convenience (a sham deception, as it happens) is nullified.

So, the notion of 'a proper American wife' may be his intention, so be it, but it need not be ours. Thank you. M.H. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 17 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

a) What alternative phrasing do you suggest? b) The synopsis states Pinkerton's intentions clearly.

Sharpless: "Un'altro bicchiere. Bevo alla vostra famiglia lontana." (Another glass. I drink to your distant family.)
Pinkerton: "E al giorno in cui mi sposerò con vere nozze a una vera sposa americana." (And to the day I marry in a real wedding a real American bride.)

The text "proper American wife" seems to me a reasonable translation. We are only concerned with Pinkerton's intentions, not ours. However, I agree that that section could be improved; the duplicate "since" is clumsy, and Pinkerton's comparison of the terms for the lease of the house with his marriage intentions might be added. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:52, 17 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

-- "Versions & Performance History" ==

In the 3rd paragraph under "Versions" the "Standard Version" (capitalized) is noted as having been the 5th version, composed in 1907. But, the 1st paragraph under "Performance History" states that premieres of the "standard version" (lower case) began in 1904. ??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:3EC0:85D0:9563:BBA9:DEFA:E0A6 (talk) 20:33, 20 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 18:36, 3 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Madame Butterfly (song) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 16:06, 21 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can anyone please point me to a source which lists the differences between the 5 versions of the opera? Thanks PhilUK (talk) 19:16, 17 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Our colleagues at the Italian and German Wikipedias have a few more details than are mentioned here: it:Madama Butterfly#Versioni successive and de:Madama Butterfly#Weitere Fassungen. Searching for "Madama Butterfly" five versions differences brings up an aricle in Music & Letters, "Puccini's 'Work in Progress': The So-Called Versions of Madama Butterfly" (JSTOR 854624). -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:54, 18 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. That article is very interesting. PhilUK (talk) 17:44, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Possible Turkish production in the 1910s?[edit]

I was going through archives of the magazine Servet-i Funun and I found images that might be of an Ottoman Turkish production in the 1910s.

It seemed they used German and Ottoman actors WhisperToMe (talk) 16:31, 10 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Add a section regarding controversy[edit]

General consensus over whether or not the opera is racist is divided, and would make a good discussion point. The pages for the St. John Passion, Porgy and Bess, and The Death of Klinghoffer already have similar sections.

Therefore, I support adding this as a new section. If not, at least add the "Race-related controversies in opera" category.

Amadeus1928 (talk) 23:57, 28 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am against it. The so called controversy has no bearing on the opera itself and is in no way reflective of Puccini's intentions. Gongfong2021 (talk) 19:55, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If it's about the opera, widely discussed by reliable third party source, it's directly relevant to the opera. Notability and sources are how we determine relevance and notability and not personal opinion. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Mkdw talk 16:21, 28 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Should a legacy section be added with things like the album Pinkerton by Weezer? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ghccoolj (talkcontribs) 17:31, 17 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Featured picture scheduled for POTD[edit]

Hello! This is to let editors know that File:Collina presso Nagasaki, bozzetto di Alexandre Bailly, Marcel Jambon per Madama Butterfly (1906) - Archivio Storico Ricordi ICON000079 - Restoration.jpg, a featured picture used in this article, has been selected as the English Wikipedia's picture of the day (POTD) for December 27, 2022. A preview of the POTD is displayed below and can be edited at Template:POTD/2022-12-27. For the greater benefit of readers, any potential improvements or maintenance that could benefit the quality of this article should be done before its scheduled appearance on the Main Page. If you have any concerns, please place a message at Wikipedia talk:Picture of the day. Thank you! Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.2% of all FPs. Currently celebrating his 600th FP! 03:12, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly is a 1904 opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian-language libretto written by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. The plot is based on the short story "Madame Butterfly" (1898) by John Luther Long in turn based on stories told to Long by his sister Jennie Correll and on the semi-autobiographical 1887 French novel Madame Chrysanthème by Pierre Loti. The opera features Pinkerton, a U.S. naval officer, who rents a house in Nagasaki, Japan, for himself and Cio-Cio-San (nicknamed Butterfly), a 15-year-old Japanese girl whom he is marrying for convenience and intends to leave once he finds an American wife. This watercolor illustration on cardboard, from the archives of the music publisher Casa Ricordi, depicts the scenic design for a 1906 production Act 1 of Madama Butterfly, set in the hills near Nagasaki.

Illustration credit: Alexandre Bailly and Marcel Jambon; restored by Adam Cuerden

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