Considered the “first Spaghetti western”, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West) highlights the rigors of the mid-1800’s California mining rush and depicts the rough and tumble world of the Wild West. The titular character is a hard-edged frontier saloon owner, Minnie, who keeps a close eye on the whiskey-drinking, card-playing miners at her establishment, while holding out for her own true love.
Following the success of La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, The Girl of the Golden West ranks as one of Puccini’s most innovative scores both harmonically and orchestrally. Recognized as a “lyric spinto”, Puccini girl through and through, American soprano Jill Gardner portrays the leading lady, while Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell, who plays Minnie’s love interest, the bandit Ramerrrez (alias Dick Johnson), shines as a performer with a “burnished sound and crisp diction.”
The excitement of this Western melodrama is vividly brought to life under the direction of Virginia Opera’s beloved Lillian Groag.
Sung in Italian with English Supertitles
The orchestra for this production is provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
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