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Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour
Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

Sydney, NSW
Join Opera Australia for Sydney’s best night out, with fireworks every night, take your seats under the stars.

About Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

The critically acclaimed and wildly popular Madama Butterfly returns to the Handa on Sydney Harbour stage.

Under the stars, with fireworks every night as well as pop-up bars and eateries, this is “the most impressive outdoor event in Australia…You don’t need to understand opera to understand what makes the occasion great.” (Concrete Playground).

Take your seats overlooking ‘Paradise’ – complete with a bamboo grove, a giant moon, and a rising sun floating in the harbour. The picture-perfect backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge twinkles with thousands of city lights as night falls.

For innocent Cio-Cio-San, love flutters on wings of desire. For brash Pinkerton, a flight of fancy is irresistible. On their wedding night, passions ignite. Puccini’s intimate ode to unrequited love has always been shocking. East meets West, devotion meets disregard, expectation meets disappointment. In the clash, Cio-Cio-San’s dreams are shatters.

Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour is a “five star world-beating triumph, surely one of the most spectacular outdoor operas ever staged anywhere” - Time Out.

Join us for Sydney’s best night out.

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Tell Me More

“simply outstanding” – The Daily Telegraph

★★★★1/2 “A compelling night of opera in a dazzling setting.” – Limelight

★★★★1/2 “the most meaningful and compelling of all Opera Australia’s Handa Opera Sydney Harbour creations.” – Sydney Morning Herald


Conductor: Brian Castles-Onion

Director: Alex Ollé

Revival Director: Susan Gómez

Set Designer: Alfons Flores

Costume Designer: Lluc Castells

Sound Designer: Tony David Cray


Cio-Cio-San: Karah Son, Eva Kong

Suzuki: Sian Sharp, Agnes Sarkis

Pinkerton: Diego Torre

Sharpless: Michael Honeyman, Luke Gabbedy

Goro: Virgilo Marino, Iian Henderson

Opera Australia Chorus

Opera Australia Orchestra

What to Watch For

  • The composer: Giacomo Puccini, Italian, 20th Century, also famous for La Bohème, Tosca and Turandot.

  • The music: There are numerous Japanese influences in this opera, with the inclusion of both bells and tam-tams often seen in Japanese songs and arrangements.

  • The big hit: The heartbreaking 'Un bel di vedremo' (One Beautiful Day) is the aria that every soprano dreams of singing.

  • The setting: Nagasaki, Japan

  • The history: The opera gathers together Balasco’s play (based on John Luther Long’s short story) and material from Pierre Loti’s novel Madama Chrysanthème to create the full, three-act tale of Cio-Cio-San’s betrayal.

  • A quirky fact to impress your date: Puccini rewrote it five times — and the fifth and final is the one usually performed around the world.

Run time

2hrs 45min (inc interval)

Start date

March 24th, 2023

End date

April 23rd, 2023




Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour


Recommended Age: 12yrs+. Please note this is an outdoor event. We recommend that you dress with this in mind and bring warm, weatherproof clothing.

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