Madame Butterfly Signed by Giacomo Puccini (1904)

Giacomo Puccini, recognized as among the greatest composers of Italian Opera, was one of the foremost proponents of the verismo style, which attempted to bring the naturalism of 19th century literature to opera.  Among his works are La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot, left incomplete.

Madame Butterfly, possibly his most famous work, had its premiere in Milan in 1904.   The plot, based on a short story by American writer John Luther Long, involves a love affair (and its aftermath) between an American Lieutenant and a teenage Japanese girl.   

Giacomo Puccini wrote four different versions of the opera.  The version located in McCain library is the 1904 version and is inscribed by Puccini himself. 

This book is one of many donated by writer and editor Patrick Mahony, who was a literary assistant to both Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck and English-Irish poet and Fantasy writer Lord Dunsany.  Many of the books donated by Mahony are inscribed by authors or collectors, and some contain related enclosures. 

This book is available for use in Special Collections located on the 3rd floor of McCain Library & Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi.  For more information about this item, contact Andrew Rhodes at  or 601.266.6765. To see more Items of the Month, click here.


Text for this Item of the Month prepared by Andrew Rhodes