Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday, Fanciulla del West!

Tonight, the Metropolitan Opera celebrates the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Puccini's La fanciulla del West, which was met with rave applause and numerous curtain calls in 1910. In a review of the Met's current revival, the New York Times' Anthony Tommasini praises the cast, including soprano Deborah Voight, tenor Marcello Giordani, and baritone Lucio Gallo. He also notes that "the Met’s current staging is close to the original and allows this remarkable score to come through beautifully."

Seattle Opera last performed Fanciulla in 2004, and we think it's fitting to celebrate this occasion with a few photos from that production.

Seattle Opera's 2004 production of La fanciulla del West, directed by Bernard Uzan, starred Greer Grimsley as Jack Rance, Richard Margison as Dick Johnson, and Andrea Gruber as Minnie. Here Minnie cheats at cards when she's playing Sheriff Rance, with the bandit Johnson's life at stake.

The production also featured the US debut of Antonello Palombi as Johnson in the alternate cast. Palombi has gone on to sing Radames, Canio, and Manrico at Seattle Opera.

Grimsley gave Seattle one of his marvelously complex, attractive villains in Fanciulla's sheriff.

In the final scene, Minnie rescues Johnson from the Sheriff's lynch mob, and they head off into the sunset singing a sonorous "Addio, mio California!"

All photos by Rozarii Lynch