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24 March–23 April 2023


Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney


Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one interval.

Please note

This production contains sexual references, themes of sexual abuse and suicide.

Special Offer: Book 4+ tickets and Save!*

That’s a saving of $176 when you book four A-reserve tickets to any performance.

Simply select the ‘Group of 4+’ price when choosing your seats in A, B, C, D, or E Reserve and the offer will be automatically applied.

“A modern Butterfly soars as art and spectacle combine on Sydney Harbour” (Limelight)

The critically acclaimed and wildly popular Madama Butterfly returns to the Handa Opera 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. Yet, how ephemeral is their ecstatic embrace?

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 shatter.

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.

“Beautiful, heartrending, provocative ★★★★½”


“A wonderful, quintessentially Sydney evening. ★★★★½”

Culture Binge

“A glittering night out.”

Stage Whispers

Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour (2014)

Cheat Sheet: Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

Here’s everything you need to know…

What happens in the story? Who was the composer? What should I expect from the music?

Read the cheat sheet
The Sun Begins to Rise Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

Page to stage: Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour

Take a look at the costume and stage design for this beautiful opera on the Sydney Harbour.

Find out more
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour Platinum Club

The HSBC Platinum Club

Add a taste of luxury to your evening with pre-performance drinks and fine dining.

Enjoy exclusive access to an undercover pop-up restaurant and bar with uninterrupted views overlooking Sydney Harbour, exclusive menus, superior NSW wines, five-star table service, and dedicated restrooms.

Find out more
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

The history of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

From La Traviata to The Phantom of the Opera. Find out more about the spectacular 10-year history of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, and discover extraordinary behind-the-scenes stories.

Read the article

Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting Sydney?

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Complete your night out with Ovolo Hotels

Enjoy a unique stay in Woolloomooloo

Only a short commute to Mrs Macquaries Point, Ovolo Woolloomooloo offers spacious and beautifully appointed rooms, indoor pool, restaurant, bar and fitness centre, overlooking the picturesque Sydney Harbour.

Book direct on and make the most out of your night.

Find out more

Feel alive in Sydney

Feel alive in Sydney

Explore fine dining and cocktail bars around The Rocks, Circular Quay and Woolloomooloo to excite your senses.

Plan your visit

Cast & Creative

Revival Director
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Based on original lighting design by
Japanese Cultural Advisor
Mayu Iwasaki
Karah Son (24, 26, 29, 31 Mar and 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 Apr)
Eva Kong (25, 28, 30 Mar and 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 Apr)
Sian Sharp (24, 26, 29, 31 Mar and 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 Apr)
Agnes Sarkis (25, 28, 30 Mar and 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 Apr)
Diego Torre (24, 26, 29, 31 Mar and 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 Apr)
Paul O’Neill (25, 28, 30 Mar and 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 Apr)
Michael Honeyman (24, 26, 29, 31 Mar and 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 Apr)
Luke Gabbedy (25, 28, 30 Mar and 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 Apr)
David Parkin (24, 26, 29, 31 Mar and 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 Apr)
Jud Arthur (25, 28, 30 Mar and 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23 Apr)
Kate Pinkerton

Opera Australia Chorus
Opera Australia Orchestra



B.F. Pinkerton arrives in Japan and inspects a house overlooking the harbour that he is leasing from the marriage broker, Goro. The house comes with three servants and a geisha wife named Cio-Cio-San, known as Madama Butterfly. The American consul Sharpless arrives. Pinkerton describes his life of roaming the world in search of experience and pleasure. He intends to go through with the marriage ceremony even though he says that someday he will take a real, American wife. Butterfly views the marriage differently. She is heard climbing the hill with her friends for the ceremony.

After the formal introduction, Butterfly explains that her family was once prominent but lost its position, and she has had to earn her living as a geisha. Her relatives arrive. Cio-Cio-San shows Pinkerton her few possessions, and tells him she will embrace her husband’s religion. The Imperial Commissioner reads the marriage agreement, and the relatives congratulate the couple. Suddenly, a threatening voice is heard — it is The Bonze, Butterfly’s uncle, a priest. He curses the girl for converting to Christianity, Pinkerton orders them to leave and as they go, The Bonze and the shocked relatives reject Cio-Cio-San. She is helped by Suzuki into her wedding kimono, and joins Pinkerton in the garden.

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