Giacomo Puccini furthered his reputation as one of the leading figures in Italian opera when he composed one of the world's most popular operas, 'Madame Butterfly' to a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on the book by John L. Long and the drama by David Belasco. The inspiration for the plot came from an American play by David Belasco, which captured the composer's immediate interest when he saw it in London. Based on the heartbreak of Madama Butterfly, a 15-year-old Japanese girl, who abandons her people and her religion in a marriage to Pinkerton, a United States Naval Lieutenant, and in a conversion to Christianity, the work undoubtedly had greater meaning to its American audiences following the occupation of U.S. troops in Asia, during the mid- and late-twentieth century. The story of 'Madame Butterfly' also recently inspired Boubill and Schonberg's musical 'Miss Saigon'.
This is the Schirmer edition of the Libretto, in the origina Italian with an English translation by John Gutman.