La fanciulla del West is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, based on the play The Girl of the Golden West by the American author David Belasco. Fanciulla followed Madama Butterfly, which was also based on a Belasco play. The opera has fewer of the show-stopping highlights that are characteristic of other Puccini works, but is admired for its impressive orchestration and for a score that is more melodically integrated than is typical of his previous work. The opera had a successful and highly-publicised première at the Met in 1910. Nevertheless, while Puccini deemed it one of his greatest works, La fanciulla del West has become a less popular opera within the composer’s repertoire, drawing a mixed public reception overall. Despite the plot being a source of significant criticism, the majority of academics and musicians agree in calling it a magnum opus, particularly lauding its craftmanship. Conductor Arturo Toscanini called the opera a “great symphonic poem”.

  • amato-pasquale-as-jack-rance-met-premiere
    Amato, Pasquale as Jack Rance
    Italian baritone (1878-1942)
  • corelli-franco-in-la-fanciulla-del-west
    Corelli, Franco as Dick Johnson
    Italian tenor (1921-2003)
  • del-monaco-mario-as-dick-johnson001
    Del Monaco, Mario as Dick Johnson
    Italian tenor (1915-1982)
  • destinn-emmy-as-minnie
    Destinn, Emmy as Minnie
    Czech soprano (1878-1930)
  • gibin-giovanni-4x6in-insc-in-la-fanciulla
    Gibin, Giovanni as Dick Johnson
    Peruvian tenor (1929-?)
  • guelfi-giangiacomo-as-dick-johnson
    Guelfi, Giangiacomo as Jack Rance
    Italian baritone (1924-2012)
  • jeritza-maria-as-minnie
    Jeritza, Maria as Minnie
    Slovakian soprano (1887-1982)
  • kirsten-dorothy-as-minnie
    Kirsten, Dorothy as Minnie
    American soprano (1910-1992)
  • lear-evelyn-as-minnie-in-fanciulla-8x10in
    Lear, Evelyn as Minnie
    American soprano (1926-2012)
  • piccaver-alfred-as-jack-rance
    Piccaver, Alfred as Dick Johnson
    Bristish-american tenor (1884-1958)
  • somigli-franca-as-minnie
    Somigli, Franca as Minnie
    American soprano (1901-1974)
  • tebaldi-as-minnie-in-fanciulla-met-8x10in
    Tebaldi, Renata as Minnie
    Italian soprano (1922-2004)
  • welitsch-ljuba-as-minnie
    Welitsch, Ljuba as Minnie
    Bulgarian soprano (1913-1996)
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