La fanciulla del West, Puccini – Opernhaus Zürich

December 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:45 pm

Giacomo Puccini’s opera, which premièred in 1910, is frequently staged as a western with a saloon and smoking revolvers. However, in his Zurich production, director Barrie Kosky tells the story of the barkeeper Minnie, who lives alone among men in a gold-diggers’’ camp in the Wild West, as a thriller featuring desolate, lonely people fighting desperately to make their living and for redemption through love “in the last bar, in the very last village, at the godforsaken end of the world.” Kosky has been inspired by the stylistic devices of great American cinema, which Puccini anticipated in his score with film-like suspense and compositional realism. The squalid world of a filthy bar, Minnie’s hut, a poky, miserable little room, and a ruined house full of mud in the gangster-chase finale provide him with the external setting for a production full of tension: Kosky brings an enthralling Puccini crime thriller featuring both love interest and action scenes to the stage. As at the première, the charismatic Catherine Naglestad as Minnie and the strong character actor Scott Hendricks as the rough-and-ready Sheriff Rance make for a theatrically highly effective pair of antagonists. Brandon Jovanovich – already well known in Zurich as Sergej, Florestan or Drum major – will be débuting in the starring tenor role of Dick Johnson.

Conductor Marco Armiliato
Producer Barrie Kosky
Stage design Rufus Didwiszus
Costumes Klaus Bruns
Light-Design Franck Evin
Chorus master Ernst Raffelsberger
Dramaturgy Claus Spahn
Orchestra Philharmonia Zürich
Choir Chor der Oper Zürich


Minnie Catherine Naglestad
Dick Johnson Brandon Jovanovich
Jack Rance Scott Hendricks
Nick Jamez McCorkle
Ashby Pavel Daniluk
Sonora Cheyne Davidson
Trin Jonathan Abernethy
Sid Valeriy Murga
Harry Thobela Ntshanyana
Joe Boguslaw Bidzinski
Happy Dmytro Kalmuchyn
Larkens Cody Quattlebaum
Billy Jackrabbit Donald Thomson
Wowkle Karina Demurova
Jack Wallace Yuriy Tsiple
José Castro Alexander Kiechle
Un Postiglione Omer Kobiljak