Puccini's La Fanciulla del West

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Deborah Voight and Marcello Giordani in Puccini's <em>La Fanciulla del West</em> Deborah Voight and Marcello Giordani in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

Celebrating the 100th anniversary since its world premiere, Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West returns to the Met stage, starring Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani and conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

The composer himself attended the opera’s 1910 premiere, receiving multiple curtain calls for his tale of homesick miners set during the California Gold Rush.

While the opera is not as well known as Puccini’s stadium-packing pieces such as La Boheme and Tosca, Fanciulla features lush orchestration and soaring vocals. In this revival of the 1991 production by Giancarlo del Monaco, Fanciulla also comes decked out with naturalistic Western-style sets, a stagecoach and five horses. Voigt makes her dramatic entrance riding one of the horses and brandishing a shotgun.

“It is really rewarding to sing an opera in which I actually get my man at the end of the evening,” Voigt said. “Alive, no less!”

Cast:
Conductor: Nicola Luisotti
Minnie: Deborah Voigt
Dick Johnson: Marcello Giordani
Jack Rance: Lucio Gallo

Comments [5]

Suncita from Sacramento

I loved this production and the singers and their acting. Although I thought Gallo was much too lyric for Rance. I didn't like was Abe Lincoln's portrait in the Polka, first act. The story takes place between 1849-1850. Lincoln was elected in 1861. Somebody tell Delmonaco this, please.

Jan. 15 2011 02:58 PM
Marcia Kirkpatrick from Reva Virginia (near Charlottesville)

It was wonderful, the cast was fabulous.

BUT the sterotyped and racist portrayal of the Indians was not only not dictated by the libretto, it was damaging to the spirit and action. I refer particularly to the Indian maid-servant scuttling about and rolling her strangely made-up eyes. (No one else in the cast had peculiar makeup.)

Jan. 09 2011 01:08 PM
claire Craven

It was terrible that the interviews before the 2nd intermission completely gave away the ending of the opera, which ruined it for me. Never give away the ending!!!!!

Jan. 09 2011 11:13 AM
Larry Eisenberg from NY

The plot of "Fanciulla" must be
The dregs of all dramaturgy,
The score offers help
In forestalling a yelp,
The Libretto cries out for Suttee.

Jan. 08 2011 02:51 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

No one is humming the tunes from this opera. However, it works as theatre and highly enjoyable. I never thought much of it until I saw the telecast years ago. Great fun. I believe it won an Emmy. And when Minnie and Dick Johnson aka Ramirez go off to safety singing Addio California, it is very moving.

Jan. 08 2011 07:53 AM

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