Butterfly’s Flight

Best of the Bay nominated for both Best Theatrical Production and Best Playwright, Butterfly’s Flight is a retelling of the Puccini’s Madama Butterfly from the perspective of Ambassador Sharpless. We follow as he is pulled into this preventable tragedy, and explore how his actions contributed to Cio-Cio San’s destruction. All while enjoying some of the most transcendent music of the Opera catalog. Casting flexibility and a quick duration makes this show a delicious Fun-Size experience for audiences of any size.


Scene 1: The Narrator introduces himself as Sharpless and outlines the unique circumstances of our story. Goro gives Pinkerton a tour of his newly purchased home. He also introduces Pinkerton to Suzuki, the housemaid and Cio-Cio San’s dearest confidant. Just then, Cio-Cio San makes her magnificent entrance. Pinkerton and Cio-Cio San are delighted to be married to one another. After their passionate duet, Cio-Cio San leads Pinkerton to the bedchamber. Three days later, Pinkerton abandons Cio-Cio San. But she remains steadfast for three years, growing more defiant and deranged. Sharpless is tasked with telling Cio-Cio San that Pinkerton would be arriving the following day; with his American bride.


Scene 2: Sharpless climbs the hill to Cio-Cio San’s house to deliver the devastating news. She sets her gaze on the harbor below for the heart-breaking Un Bel Di. Cio-Cio San spots Pinkerton’s ship approaching, and celebrates wildly. Suzuki, Cio-Cio San, and Dolore dance rapturously and toss flower petals everywhere. Red petals fall from the flies. The happy family goes to bed in the twilight, and the sun slowly rises to the sound of The Humming Chorus.


Scene 3: The Narrator laments Cio-Cio San’s situation. He cites her poverty and unhinged state to justify the next bombshell; that she must release her precious son Dolore to Pinkerton. Suzuki, Sharpless, and Pinkerton sing a stirring trio, agreeing to convince Cio-Cio San that it’s for the best. Pinkerton flees. The Narrator condemns Pinkerton, but realizes his insistence she give up Dolore was her death knell. She survived without Pinkerton, but couldn’t survive without Dolore.


7 players in total

1 Non-Speaking/Singing (Piano/Orchestra)

1 Speaking only

5 Singers


Narrator: Speaking role- Ruminative and regretful. Older Male/same gender as Sharpless

Cio-Cio San: Soprano- Headstrong and unwavering romantic

Pinkerton: Tenor- Naive, impulsive, and guileless

Goro: Tenor- Charming and manipulative salesman

Sharpless: Baritone- Proper and good-natured

Suzuki: Mezzo-Soprano- Kind and dedicated friend

Dolore: Child aged 4-5

Chorus: No chorus required, but can easily be added as needed.


Duration: Approx. 1 hour

Setting: Traditional Japanese house on a hill above Nagasaki Harbor/Deijima, Japan.

Time Period: 1904 Approx.

Orchestra size:
String Quartet + Piano

Cast Attributes:

Non-Traditional Casting
Multi-Cultural Casting
Opera with Non-Singing Actor
Flexible Casting
Expandable Casting
Strong Role for Baritone
Strong Role for Soprano
Strong Role for Mezzo-Soprano
Features Children


Performing Groups: College Theatre/Student, Young Artists’ Programs (YAPs), Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Opera Companies, Black Box/Second Stage/Fringe Groups

Features: Beautiful spectacle, Modern aesthetic, Flower petal rain

Target Audience: Adults, Seniors, Teens (13+)


Best of the Bay 2021, Best Theatrical Production nomination

Best of the Bay 2021, Best Playwright nomination (Alix Faulhaber)


Puccini Opera
Madama Butterfly
Madame Butterfly
Love Tragedy

Contents Include:

-Digital download of script with Ricordi plate/page/measure numbers.

-2 individual consultations with Cackling Harpies

...Engaging, Talented and Hilarious!

Cackling Harpies is a fun and unique duo that takes opera to the next level! Their productions always ensure that every charter has a unique story and life that comes across on stage.
As directors, they are always a joy to work with and create an environment that is truly collaborative. As performers, they are engaging, talented and hilarious!

-John Kaneklides
Performer, La Traviata

100% Fun


“Have you ever wished for a production team that brought 100% fun and 100% historical and artistic relevance? Look no further! Every Cackling Harpies production I’ve been a part of has been the perfect combination of the two. Never a dull moment and never an unfounded direction, these two really are a dream team and I look forward to getting to work together again soon!”

Christopher Ryan
Performer, Witching Hour 2021

...You'll Laugh, Cheer and Cry

“I have never enjoyed a rehearsal process more or felt more safe to explore my character than when working with the Cackling Harpies. They invite you to create with them and become invested in the show like none other. As an audience member, you’ll laugh and cheer and cry; if you’re a cast member, you’ll do the same.”

– Sean Christopher Stork
Performer, Witching Hour 2021, Spanish Nights