act 1 In the vicinity of Nagasaki of the American Navy Lieutenant Pinkerton visited a cottage he wants to rent from the owner Goro. Here he wants to spend his honeymoon with the Japanese geisha Cio-cio-san, with that girl he compares with a butterfly and he intends to take in temporary marriage to wife under the then tolerated custom. What Suzuki, Butterfly's servant, and Goro tell him of his bride, his recklessness can not change, nor the compassion that brings the American consul Sharpless expressed. You bump into each other, but the toast Pinkerton is considered America and all that binds him to America. Cio-cio-san appears, accompanied by their girlfriends. While the wedding ceremony is being prepared, she talks about her life, her family. The family impoverished by the suicide of her father. You told Pinkerton also assume that she has accepted his faith. This sign of love leads immediately after the ceremony to an incident: Her uncle, a Buddhist priest who comes to them to curse from the faith because of their waste. But more than that would Butterfly sacrifice to be pleasing to her husband. And the magic of nightfall feels even the stranger for a moment the size of the heart, the beating of him.
act 2 Three years waiting Cio-cio-san already on her husband, to whom she gave birth to a son. Pinkerton has promised her before his departure to come back. In her mind she sees his ship, but also the prayers Suzuki, her maid, fortune not bring forward the beloved. Sharpless occurs; but his mission goes beyond his strength: He is Cio-cio-san announce that Pinkerton was married in America that the geisha is free again. Cio-cio-san makes the Consul hardly read what is in Pinkerton's letter, overjoyed to finally hear something from her lover, she bombarded him with questions. Goro has learned of the Pinkertons and Marriage brings out the rich Yamadori as a suitor with. In the opinion, Sharpless Butterfly've already been informed, they submit their proposal and rejected indignantly by the unsuspecting. But Goro has some news: Pinkerton's ship was expected in port. Butterflys joy is so great that Sharpless still can not find the courage to tell her the truth. His advice to marry Yamadori, found only incomprehension. Does not he alone that they belong together and Pinkerton, he does not see it in the eyes of her child? In her house decorated Butterfly waits with her ??servant one night, one last night, nor to her husband.
act 3 Only towards morning Cio-cio-san has been overcome by sleep. As Pinkerton comes, accompanied by the Consul, he is greeted by Suzuki. Your portrayal of Butterfly's faithfulness reaches to his heart. But Suzuki needs to see that the doom is unstoppable: In the garden she sees the wife Pinkerton, the woman he has brought with him from America. Seized with remorse flees Pinkerton, Kate, and the Consul are shaken. Madame Butterfly recognized at a glance the situation. Your elation gives way to a frightening rest: you are by the urge their child over to the father, he may pick it up in a short time. Left alone takes Butterfly farewell to her child. Then she kills herself after the custom of their fathers. "Honorable to die, who can not live with honor more."