Trusted Shops badge

Estonian National Opera: Madama Butterfly

About the Event

Experience opera like never before in this astonishing performance of Puccini's masterwork at Tallinn's remarkable Estonian National Opera.

“Madama Butterfly” is an opera inspired by a true story. At the beginning of the 20th century, in the city of Nagasaki, in the background of the clash of Western and Eastern civilizations, there develops a love story of a Japanese girl Cio‐Cio San and an American naval officer Pinkerton. It is a story of passion, honour, betrayal and the faithful love of a woman. She is called Cio‐Cio San, meaning Madama Butterfly in Japanese for her fragile beauty. Cio‐Cio San chooses to renounce her country’s traditions and her family’s religion to give her whole heart to the love of her life, Pinkerton. She is unaware that love and the marriage is merely a game for the man. Soon he deserts her and Cio‐Cio San is left behind, pregnant with their child of which Pinkerton is unaware. with their child. But her love is steadfast. After three long years, Pinkerton returns to Japan with his American wife and instead of a happy reunion, he is about to take away their child.

Puccini’s music reveals the feelings of the heroes so subtly and captivatingly that “Madama Butterfly” has become one of the most beloved operas in the world. The music breathes poetry, passion, romance and the aroma of the Orient. Puccini’s masterpiece had its world premiere in La Scala (1904), but the premiere was met with cat‐calls and booing, mainly due to the poor casting and conflicts between editors and the composer. The Current staging premieres in the summer of 2023 in Brescia, where the opera received its true welcome only a few months after the fiasco of the premiere.

Estonian National Opera

The Estonian National Opera company, established in 1870, presents a wide range of operas, operettas, ballets, and musicals.

The opera house itself was constructed in 1913 as the initiative of the 'Estonia' song and drama society. At the time, this Art Nouveau structure was the largest in Tallinn. During the Second World War, the theater was destroyed. Restored in the 1950s under Soviet rule, the architects kept the original facade, but the rest of the building combines Neoclassical and Stalinist elements.

Gift card