New Productions

(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

»The west is wild … « and life is hard, the place full of danger in times torn between greed and violence: we are at the foot of ...
»The west is wild … « and life is hard, the place full of danger in times torn between greed and violence: we are at the foot of the Cloudy Mountains in California, in a rough gold prospectors’ camp during the feverish gold rush years of 1849/50, in a veristic scenario with musical elements including jazz-like syncopation, spirituals, gospel, ragtime and cakewalk; a scenario the like of which had never been experienced on the operatic stage before. Games of chance as lifestyle, a »Polka« Saloon as living quarters, shoot outs, lynchings and ritual executions as everyday risks of life in a habitat that belongs to the indiginous Indians. In the midst of all this: the dream of a simple life, of happiness; a »love drama played out before the backdrop of primative people and a free, unspoilt landscape« (said playwrite David Belasco). Puccini used a tried and tested theme, the tussle between two men for the love of a woman.
    It ends with former highwayman Dick Johnson and Minnie, popular owner of a saloon, riding off together into the distance, leaving the loser, Sheriff Rance, behind.


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 02.06.2013 19:30 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: series 10

Pre-booking and Pricing


Sebastian Weigle
Christof Loy
Assistant for the Production
Anna Tomson
Stage and Costume Designer
Herbert Murauer
Lighting Designer
Bernd Purkrabek
Hobi Jarne, Nils Fridén, Emil Gotthard
Thomas Wilhelm
Dramaturgy of the Production
Yvonne Gebauer
Dramaturgical Assistance
Norbert Abels
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Eva-Maria Westbroek
Jack Rance, Sheriff
Ashley Holland
Dick Johnson alias Ramerrez
Carlo Ventre
Nick, Kellner des Saloons "Polka"
Peter Marsh
Alfred Reiter
Simon Bailey
Michael McCown
Bálint Szabó
Sungkon Kim
Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Beau Gibson
Nathaniel Webster
Björn Bürger
Billy Jackrabbit
Carlos Krause
Elisabeth Hornung
Jake Wallace
Franz Mayer
José Castro
Cheol Kang
Francisco Brito

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

* Member of the Opera Studio


Copyright © 2013 Oper Frankfurt