Lieutenant Pinkerton is in Nagasaki for three months for professional reasons. There he falls in love with the geisha Cio-Cio-San, also called Madame Butterfly. He wants to marry her immediately after and she has a child by him. Japanese law allows him to declare the marriage dissolved at any time. She waits years for the lieutenant to return. When he finally returns, he has a new wife and wants to take his child. Thereupon Butterfly stabs himself.
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