‹ Back to What's On Madama Butterfly

19 Jan - 22 Mar 2018

Giacomo Puccini's tragic tale of innocent love crushed by betrayal
Part of Fatal Passions

One of the best-loved operas of all time, Cio-Cio-San is a young Japanese woman who sacrifices everything to marry Pinkerton, the dashing American naval officer. Cruelly discarded when he returns to America, Butterfly is driven to a final and dramatic act of despair.

With its exquisite set and costumes, this emotionally direct and beautiful production by Tim Albery is devastating in its impact. Madama Butterfly features some of Puccini’s most famous music including ‘Un bel dì’ and the ‘Humming Chorus’. French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels has won widespread praise in this production in the role of Cio-Cio-San.

Audio described performances are available.

Running Time

Approximately 2 hour 40 minutes


Sung in Italian with English titles

The Music

Audience Reaction Trailer

What the critics say

As for Anne Sophie Duprels, returning to the title role, it would be hard to find, or even imagine, a more thoroughly committed rendering of it.

The Independent (2011) - Full Review ›

...reduced me to jelly...this is an overwhelmingly powerful performance which holds the audience in thrall.

The Telegraph (2007) - Full Review ›

Anne Sophie Duprels is a shimmering glory, her voice soaring and dramatically heartbreaking...the superb Opera North orchestra under Martin Pickard’s baton comes to the dramatic fore.

The Stage - Full Review ›




Madama Butterfly: Your Reaction


Our classic production of Puccini's heart-breaking Madama Butterfly is now open. Read some of what our audiences have been saying on social media so far, and see some production photos... Read More

  • Cio-Cio-San Anne Sophie Duprels
  • Pinkerton Merūnas Vitulskis
  • Sharpless Peter Savidge
  • Suzuki Ann Taylor
  • Goro Joseph Shovelton
  • Kate Pinkerton Katie Bird
  • Bonze Dean Robinson
  • Prince Yamadori Christopher Nairne
Creative Team
  • Conductor Martin Pickard (except 20, 24 Feb)
  • Conductor Anthony Kraus (20, 24 Feb)
  • Director Tim Albery
  • Set Designer Hildegard Bechtler
  • Costume Designer Ana Jebens
  • Lighting Designer Peter Mumford

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Find Us

46 New Briggate
Leeds Grand Theatre

Important Information

Box Office: 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm)

  • To access the Grand Theatre, there are six steps from the street up to the foyer or a wheelchair lift from the Grand Theatre Box Office to the foyer, and then lift access to the rest of the auditorium (excluding the Upper Balcony). Some areas of the auditorium do have steep stairs and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. Please check with the Box Office. 
  • There are 6 wheelchair spaces: four in the Stalls and two in the Dress Circle.
  • There are accessible toilets at Stalls and Dress Circle levels. 
  • There is an infra-red system in operation for sound amplification. Headsets are available from the Grand Theatre foyer for a £5 refundable deposit. Please ask Box Office staff when booking for advice on the best seats to use this service. 
  • Support dogs are welcome in the auditorium and can be looked after on request. 
  • For refreshments, there are bars at Stalls, Upper Circle and Balcony levels.  

Choose from these fantastic pre-theatre dining options and make your experience complete!

The Alchemist

Opera North ticket holders can enjoy 20% off their food bill at The Alchemist. Located on the second floor of Trinity Shopping Centre, The Alchemist offers a fantastic menu and stunning views of Leeds City Centre. Not available Saturdays. 

Download Menu | Book online 


Manahatta is a recently opened bar and kitchen located on Merrion Street, just a minute's walk from Leeds Grand Theatre. Serving a fantastic New York inspired menu made with fresh local produce, guests will receive 20% off their food bill before 6.15pm with proof of ticket. Booking is required. 

Download Menu | Book online

North Bar

Opera North and Howard Assembly Room ticket holders can enjoy 10% off all drinks at New Briggate's finest craft beer hotspot — North Bar, just a stone's throw from Leeds Grand Theatre. 

Find out more 


Enjoy 15% off all food and drink at authentic Italian wine bar Veeno (Leeds branch only) on presentation of ticket for an Opera North performance. Excludes Fridays and Saturdays after 5.00pm. 

Download Menu | Book a table 

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special pre-opera meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. Just a 5-10 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, choose either two courses for £13.95 (£17.50 with a 175ml house wine) or three courses for £15.95 (£19.50 with a 175ml house wine). Available 5.00-6.30pm. Booking is required.

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 242 8094 and quote 'pre-opera menu'

Brasserie Blanc

Sample the fabulous pre-theatre menu at Brasserie Blanc and choose from two courses for £11.95 or three courses for £15.45, with a complimentary glass of fizz for Opera North ticket holders. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre. Available 12.00-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday. 

Download Menu | Book online or call 0113 220 6060

The Reliance

Just a 5 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, The Reliance bar and dining room offers a fantastic pre-theatre menu. Choose from two courses for £14.45 or three courses for £18.90. Available 5.30-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday.

Download Menu

Salford Quays

Find Us

Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/


Find Us

Theatre Square

Important Information

Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Find access details for Nottingham Theatre Royal

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 


Discover exciting pre-theatre dining options for Nottingham Theatre Royal


Find Us

100 Grey Street

Important Information

Box office: 08448 112121


Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.


Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.


The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

What you say

Comment from Robert Wyke


Robert Wyke said ago

Fabulous evening. Extraordinarily moving. The moment when the child is introduced is brilliantly handled.

Comment from Moira Pugh


Moira Pugh said ago

Tuesday's performance was just wonderful. The whole cast were so well placed and the emotion and stamia of a Ann Sophie Duprels as Cio-Cio -San was just amazing! I left feeling I had been through the whole story with them and was very moved. I still thought about the whole experience the next day ...absolute quality!!

Comment from Hilary Harris


Hilary Harris said ago

I try not to miss an opportunity to see Opera North's Madama Butterfly and last night's performance didn't disappoint. I thought that Merunas Vitulskis was the most believable Pinkerton that I have seen - a twinkle in his eye that made me understand why Butterfly would wait 3 years for him! Oh, and a beautiful voice as well!

A lovely production and, as is to be expected, the orchestra were fantastic.

Comment from Helen


Helen said ago

Beautifully sung yesterday Lovely scheduled performance on a Sunday Orchestra great! Modern set Looking forward to seeing more forty years on following ON thank you

Leave a comment


Act I

Lieutenant Pinkerton of the United States Navy has taken out a 999-year lease on a house in the hills above Nagasaki, where he intends to live with his bride-to-be, a geisha called Cio-Cio-San, or Madam Butterfly. The marriage-broker, Goro, shows him the house while wedding preparations get underway. Pinkerton revels in the elasticity of Japanese marriage contracts, under which the husband’s absence, even for so short a time as a month, constitutes a divorce. He laughs off the attempts of the American Consul, Sharpless, to warn him that Cio-Cio-San is taking the marriage seriously.

Cio-Cio-San arrives with a crowd of friends and relations and shows Pinkerton her few but treasured belongings. It emerges that she comes from a noble but poverty-stricken family and has had to earn her living as a geisha. Her father committed suicide on the orders of the emperor. The marriage ceremony takes place but the celebrations are interrupted by the arrival of Cio-Cio-San’s uncle, the Bonze, a Shinto priest, who denounces her for converting to Christianity. Her family and friends turn on her and reject her. Cio-Cio-San is left alone with Pinkerton. She assures him that he is all that matters and rejoices in her love for him.

Act II

Pinkerton has been gone for nearly three years and no word has been heard from him. Cio-Cio-San and her devoted servant Suzuki are still living in the house that he bought but have almost no money left. Scorning Suzuki’s doubts, Cio-Cio-San is convinced that Pinkerton will return and turns down the marriage offer of the wealthy Prince Yamadori. Sharpless has had a letter from Pinkerton, saying he is returning to visit Nagasaki, but does not want to see Butterfly. When she realises she has been abandoned, Butterfly shows Sharpless the child she has had by Pinkerton. As he leaves, Sharpless promises to let Pinkerton know. Suddenly the harbour cannon is heard, signalling the arrival of Pinkerton’s ship, the Abraham Lincoln. As night falls, Suzuki, the child and Butterfly settle down to wait.

Dawn breaks and Cio-Cio-San is still waiting. Suzuki persuades her to go and rest. Sharpless arrives with Pinkerton and his new American wife, Kate. They have now decided to adopt the child. Pinkerton, belatedly realizing the extent of Cio-Cio-San’s devotion, rushes away, unable to face her. Cio-Cio-San wakes to find a strange woman in her house and finally understands the truth. She agrees to give up her child on condition that Pinkerton comes in person to fetch him. Left alone, she takes a last farewell of her son and kills herself.