by Giacomo Puccini
Puccini's opera set locally during the California Gold Rush!
At a miners’ camp in California, 1849–50, a stranger appears in the local bar, introducing himself as Dick Johnson from Sacramento. He and Minnie, the owner of the bar, fall in love. And so it goes with classic western (and opera) elements such as the search for an outlaw, gunshots, gold and (almost) a hanging, all set to a Puccini score.
The girl of the title is one of Puccini’s most appealing heroines - a strong, independent woman determined to win the man she loves. Although it fell out of favor with audiences for a few decades following its original success, Fanciulla has rebounded in popularity in recent years and is now counted among Puccini’s best works.
The orchestral sweep, appropriate to the dramatic landscape of the California mountains, is apparent in the first bars of the brief, explosive prelude. The score is marked by a preponderance of male voices, reflecting the title heroine’s isolation in an almost all-male world.
CONDUCTOR: Marco Armiliato
MINNIE: Eva-Maria Westbroek
DICK JOHNSON: Jonas Kaufmann
NICK: Carlo Bosi
JACK RANCE: Željko Lucic
SONORA: Michael Todd Simpson
ASHBY: Matthew Rose
JAKE WALLACE: Oren Gradus
Start time: 10:00am on Capital Public Radio December 22.
Approximate running time 3 hrs 33 min
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