Monday, January 03, 2011

This Weekend: La Fanciulla del West

Live Transmission: Saturday, January 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT

The Metropolitan Opera’s 100th anniversary revival of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West will be transmitted to movie theaters worldwide on Saturday, January 8 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Set in a mining camp during the California Gold Rush, saloon owner Minnie has her sights set on the mysterious Dick Johnson, and nothing—not horses, hangmen, or a high-stakes poker game—can keep her from finding true love. Deborah Voigt will sing the title role of Minnie in Giancarlo Del Monaco’s 1991 production, with Marcello Giordani as Dick Johnson (a.k.a. the bandit Ramerrez) and Lucio Gallo as the villainous sheriff Jack Rance. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti will conduct the work, which the composer told The New York Times in 1910 he considered “the best of [his] operas.”

Find local theater information here: United States International

The debut of La Fanciulla del West in 1910 was the first-ever world premiere presented by the Met. For the occasion of the centennial performance on December 10, 2010, “dozens of audience members [attended] in fringed Western wear and cowboy hats” (Associated Press).

Giancarlo Del Monaco’s “brilliant staging” (Financial Times) “allows this remarkable score to come through beautifully” (The New York Times). As Minnie, the Associated Press praised Voigt for “a riveting and moving portrayal” displaying a “shining top that pierced through the sumptuous orchestration…her warm, endearing manner combined with an infectious stage-dominating moxie to make [the role] all her own.” The critic for The New York Times added, "I cannot think of a soprano who could sing any better this demanding role.” As Dick Johnson, Giordani “is at his best here” said the New York Daily News. Under the baton of Luisotti “the score emerged as arguably Puccini’s most subtly written and boldly modern music” (The New York Times).

Met star soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, currently in rehearsals for her Met debut as Tosca in January, is the HD host for La Fanciulla del West. Barbara Willis Sweete directs the transmission and Jay David Saks is music producer.

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