Drawn by the Glitter of Gold

Premiere of »La fanciulla del West«

La fanciulla del West ©Tom Schulze (lifePR) ( Leipzig, )
On Saturday, September 29, at 7:00 pm, the curtain will rise on the 2018/19 season’s first premiere: Cusch Jung directs Giacomo Puccini’s La fanciulla del West (The Girl from the Golden West) for the Oper Leipzig. Prof. Ulf Schirmer, Intendant and General Music Director, conducts the Gewandhaus.

Puccini set this, his seventh opera, in a gold mining camp in the Wild West. Loneliness and isolation define the miners’ raw, masculine existence, ruled as it is by a clearly defined pecking order. Here, far from home and hearth, the men’s search for gold becomes a search for true meaning in life. Surrounded by the miners, Minnie the barmaid (Meagan Miller) is the personification of hope for a new life. For Sheriff Jack Rance (Simon Neal) and the gold miners, she embodies their hopes and dreams. But then a stranger with a dark past arrives (Gaston Rivero as Dick Johnson), threatening the camp’s order.

La fanciulla del West (The Girl from the Golden West) was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and was premiered there in 1910. As he did with La Bohème and Madame Butterfly, Puccini creates a richly contoured world for his Wild West opera, complete with its own atmospheric musical idiom. With La fanciullad del West, Puccini innovated with a through-composed, large-scale musical form, in which he moved seamlessly from duets to musical dialogue. In doing so, he distanced himself from traditional Italian opera and focusing more on the psychological expressiveness of his music.

Director Cusch Jung, the principal stage director of Leipzig’s Musikalische Komödie, was handpicked by Intendant and music director Prof. Ulf Schirmer to spearhead this production of La fanciulla del West (The Girl from the Golden West). It marks Jung’s directorial debut at the Opera House. Meagan Miller, who has already celebrated international success as Minnie, appears in the title role. The American soprano last appeared in Leipzig in 2018 as Sieglinde in Die Walküre. Simon Neal (whom audiences in Leipzig met this past spring when he thrilled audiences as Dr. Schön in Lulu) and Gaston Rivero (last seen in Leipzig breaking hearts in Don Carlo), will both debut new roles.

Tickets (15 € – 78 €) available at the Opera House box office, at Tel: +49 (0341) 12 61 261 (Mon – Sat 10:00am – 7:00pm), by email: service@oper-leipzig.de or online at www.oper-leipzig.de.

Premiere: Saturday, September 29, 2018, 7:00 pm

Further Performances: October 3, 6 & 28/ November 10 & 24/ December 2, 2018 

Giacomo Puccini

La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West)
Opera in three acts | Text by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, after the play The Girl of the Golden West (1905) by David Belasco | In Italian with German supertitles 


Musical Director: Ulf Schimer
Stage Director: Cusch Jung
Set and Costume Design: Karin Fritz
Chorus Master: Thomas Eitler-de Lint
Dramaturgy: Christian Geltinger 


Minnie Meagan Miller, Wowkle Christiane Döcker, Jack Rance Simon Neal, Dick Johnson Gaston Rivero, Nick Patrick Vogel, Ashby Randall Jakobsh, Sonora Jonathan Michie, Trin Matthew Peña, Sid Franz Xaver Schlecht, Jake Wallace Sejong Chang, Bello Viktor Rud, Harry Tyler Clarke, Joe Sven Hjörleifsson, Happy Jakob Kunath, Larkens Roland Schubert, Billy Jackrabbit Artur Mateusz Garbas, José Castro Jean-Baptiste Mouret, ein Postillon Tae Hee Kwon
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