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Eyes Tight Shut

'La Fanciulla del West' at the Puccini Festival,


The 2010 Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago was inaugurated on 16 July with a new production of La Fanciulla del West. This year is the centenary of La Fanciulla, which was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera House and premièred on 10 December 1910 with a stellar cast: Arturo Toscanini in the pit, Emma Destin, Enrico Caruso and Pasquale Amato in the three main roles. Then, even if the weather was vile -- a snow storm -- and prices had been increased (and further raised by ticket scalpers), a capacity audience filled The Met at 34th Street and their applause rocked the rafters.

At the end of the performance on 16 July, applause for the conductor (Alberto Veronesi), the orchestra and the singers (Daniela Dessì, Fabio Armiliato, Carlos Almaguer and an additional dozen in less important but not minor roles) was mixed with a battery of booes at the stage designer (Franco Adami) and at the stage director (Kirsten Harms). It's difficult to understand why the Puccini Festival embarked on a new production, especially since Fanciulla is a comparatively rare offering in the Puccini catalogue and the festival had presented a perfectly good staging, for only a few evenings, five years ago...

Copyright © 22 July 2010 Giuseppe Pennisi,
Rome, Italy




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