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Watch Puccini’s love story set in the Wild West. “La Fanciulla del West” premieres Sunday, February 24 at 12/11c on PBS (check local listings).
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Based on David Belasco’s play The Girl of the Golden West, Puccini’s American opera stars Eva-Maria Westbroek as the heroine Minnie alongside Jonas Kaufmann as the outlaw she loves, Dick Johnson. Željko Lučić, Carlo Bosi, Michael Todd Simpson, Matthew Rose and Oren Gradusround out the cast. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Giancarlo del Monaco’s production is set during the California Gold Rush of the 19th century at the Polka Saloon, owned by Minnie. A strong and independent woman, Minnie has won the affection of the many men at the miners’ camp who frequent her saloon, including that of Jack Rance, the camp’s cynical sheriff. Later, a stranger enters the saloon and introduces himself as Dick Johnson. Minnie recognizes Dick as a man she once met on the road, but little does she know that he is actually Ramerrez, the notorious Mexican bandit on the run from authorities. Minnie and Dick begin a forbidden romance, but when his true identity is revealed, it is up to Minnie to save him in this western tale of sacrifice and redemption. Susanna Phillips hosts.