How About Some Opera? Girl of the Golden West on Great Performances from the Met
By Ellis Nassour
Great Performances from the Met present Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West or The Girl of the Golden West at 8 P.M. on April 21 [and April 24 at Noon]. The sumptuous, brushed-up Giancarlo del Monaco production remounted last December from his 1992 revival, probably has opera’s most unusual setting: the Old West and the California gold rush. The cowpokes and sifters all belly up to the bar, with horses galloping in the backgroud, of course, singing in Italian.
It commemorated the 100th anniversary of the opera’s world prem at the original Met. Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani headline. Nicola Luisotti conducts.
Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, who never visited the U.S., based their libretto, which is set against the California gold rush, a little too closely on David Belasco’s play of the same name. The lyrics often border the mundane, but Puccini’s soaring score, one of his most beautiful, compensates.