(The Girl from the Golden West)

Giacomo Puccini
1858 - 1924

Opera in three acts
Libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini after the play The Girl of the Golden West (1905) by David Belasco
World premiere December 10th 1910, Metropolitan Opera, New York

Production from the Royel Opera House (Kungliga Operan) Stockholm (December 17th 2011)
Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Duration: c.3 hrs incl. 2 intervals

About the work

Puccini’s »wild west opera« tells of a love story during the 1849/50 gold rush. Minnie, the only woman among a lot of »really tou ...
Puccini’s »wild west opera« tells of a love story during the 1849/50 gold rush. Minnie, the only woman among a lot of »really tough guys«, is guardian of the miner’s gold. Sheriff Jack Rance tries, in vain, to woo her, but she has discovered that her heart beats faster for the mysterious Dick Johnson. At first only interested in gold, he too falls for the owner of the Polka saloon. Minnie hides Johnson when Sheriff Rance and his men knock on her door. Rance shows Minne a photograph. She realises that Johnson and the man known as Ramerrez on the wanted posters are one and same. Minnie is overcome with sympathy and love when Ramerrez gets shot trying to escape. She hides him again and challenges the Sheriff to a game of cards - with Ramerrez’s life as the prize. She wins by cheating. The miners soon recapture Ramerrez but Minnie arrives in the nick of time with a revolver to save him and ensure a happy end.


California. The gold rush. Female company can be found in Nina Micheltorrena's establishment, whisky and gambling in Minnie's salo ...
California. The gold rush. Female company can be found in Nina Micheltorrena's establishment, whisky and gambling in Minnie's saloon. One evening young Larkens is overcome with homesickness. Money is collected to send him home. Sheriff and Sonora, the miners’ spokesman, argue and a shot is fired. Minnie appears, shocked by their behaviour. The men manage to win her round again. Mr Ashby, travelling salesman for the Wells Fargo Trading Company, is searching for a bandit called Ramerrez. The Sheriff proposes to Minnie. She turns him down but they share their previous disappointments and dreams. A stranger enters (Dick Johnson, from Sacramento) - Minnie has never forgotten meeting him briefly on the street. Rance tries to make him leave but Minnie vouches for him. A Mexican is grabbed by Ashby, who suspects that Ramerrez's gang want to steal the miners' gold hidden in Minnie's bar. He says that he has run away from the gang, which the men go in search of. Minnie and Johnson are fascinated by one another. A whistle is heard – a signal that Johnson's men are ready to attack. Minnie is ready to die to defend her boys’ gold. Johnson, moved by her courage and passion, calls off the hold up. She invites him to visit her at home. Minnie waits for the stranger with girlish trepidation and gives him her first kiss. A snowstorm makes it impossible for Dick to leave. Voices are heard. Minnie hides him before opening the door to Rance Sonora, Nick and Ashby. Rance has proof that Ramerrez and Dick Johnson are one and the same. Minnie sends them away before confronting Ramerrez. He had hoped to keep the truth from her because he loves her so much. He leaves. Minnie hears a shot. He rushes back inside and she helps him into the attic. Rance returns, searches the house but finds nothing, until drops of blood fall to the floor. Minnie strikes a deal: a game of poker: her stake: Ramerrez and her body, his: safe conduct for Ramerrez. Minnie wins by cheating. A week later the miners set off like a pack of hounds to hunt for Ramerrez, who is captured. Ramerrez begs them to tell Minnie that he escaped and has gone to start a new life. The rope is prepared. Minnie, armed with her pistol, appeals to them by saying that she devoted her youth trying to provide them with a little happiness. Sonora speaks for the others: she should leave with the stranger, free and in God’s name.

With generous support from the Frankfurt Patronatsverein - Sektion OperSponsorenlogo Frankfurter Patronatsvereins - Sektion Oper

Sunday 18.05.2014 19:30 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: Dreiklang Puccini

Pre-booking and Pricing


Pier Giorgio Morandi
Christof Loy
Assistant for the Revival
Alan Barnes
Hans Walter Richter
Stage and Costume Designer
Herbert Murauer
Lighting Designer
Bernd Purkrabek
Hobi Jarne, Nils Fridén, Emil Gotthard
Thomas Wilhelm
Dramaturgy of the Production
Yvonne Gebauer
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Barbara Haveman
Jack Rance, Sheriff
Marco Vratogna
Dick Johnson alias Ramerrez
Carlo Ventre
Nick, Kellner des Saloons "Polka"
Peter Marsh
Magnús Baldvinsson
John Brancy
Michael McCown
Jake Wallace
Franz Mayer
Bálint Szabó
Iurii Samoilov *
Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Beau Gibson
Nathaniel Webster
Sebastian Geyer
Billy Jackrabbit
Carlos Krause
Elisabeth Hornung
Michael Porter *

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

* Member of the Opera Studio


Copyright © 2013 Oper Frankfurt