Since its premiere in 2005, this production of the popular Puccini opera has moved audiences during each of its subsequent runs. Madama Butterfly has been interpreted by directors all over the world. This version was the second production directed by Kuriyama Tamiya with the NNT Opera; the first was Yuzuru. In Kuriyama's creation, the world of Cio-Cio San, a woman who hangs onto love even as she goes to her death, is a space backdropped by an American flag fluttering at the rear of the stage. The subservient relationship of East to West depicted in the original version is no different from that seen today. In Madama Butterfly, we have a dramatic tale infused with the exquisite music of Puccini, the master of Italian opera.
The setting is Nagasaki in the Meiji Era. The U.S. naval officer Pinkerton buys the freedom of 15-year-old Cio-Cio-San in Nagasaki, where his ship docked, and marries her without giving it too much thought. Pinkerton soon departs for America. Despite his long silence, Cio-Cio-San waits for her husband's return in the belief that "one fine day he will come back" and turns down a new proposal of marriage. Finally Pinkerton's ship calls at Nagasaki again. But he is accompanied by his wife Kate. Having seen an unfamiliar American woman and learned the whole truth, Cio-Cio-San kills herself with a dagger left by her father.