In a house on a hill near Nagasaki, the American Marine Officer B. F. Pinkerton gets married with Cio-cio-san, a geisha also known as Madama Butterfly. Although to Pinkerton this a fake marriage and it is nothing but entertainment until he really gets married with a real American wife in a real wedding, it is much more than so to Cio-cio-san. She even gives-up her religion to convert to Pinkerton’s, but after the marriage, where all her relatives are invited, arrives Zio Bonzo. He condemns Butterfly for giving up their religion and asks the whole family to repudiate her. Everybody leaves and Butterfly, devastated, finds only comfort on her love for Pinkerton. However, after three days the sailor must go back to America, promising to come back the next year. Three years go by without any news from him. Butterfly, virtually immersed in misery, waits faithfully. Goro, the matchmaker, brings constantly new candidates for her, but she claims she is already married. Sharpless, the America consul, arrives finally with news from Pinkerton. He tries to warn her, he even goes so far as to ask what she would do if Pinkerton never came back, but that brings a huge reaction from Butterfly who ends asking him to leave. However, before he does, she introduces him to Dolor, her 3-year-old son with Pinkerton. Sharpless, moved by the child, promises to do something about it. The cannon from the port announces the arrival of a new ship. It is in fact Pinkerton’s ship coming back. Butterfly waits all morning for him to come back home, but by the morning she starts to understand her anxiety might be unrequited. When she eventually agrees to get some rest, Pinkerton arrives with Sharpless and Kate, his American wife. Sharpless has told them about the kid, and they are coming to pick him up and take him with them to America. Pinkerton is unable to confront Butterfly and leaves in shame. Is Pinkerton’s wife who asks Suzuki to talk with Butterfly and advise her to give up the child. Butterfly eventually agrees, but she asks for Pinkerton himself to come get him. Dishonored, ashamed, she takes the dagger her father had used to kill himself. As she hears Pinkerton yelling on his arrival to try to stop what he suspects, she takes her own life.