Today's Opera: La Fanciulla del West
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
World Premiere: Metropolitan Opera, New York, 1910. Puccini’s “American” opera, based on David Belasco’s play The Girl of the Golden West, had its glamorous and highly publicized world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera, with the composer in the audience. The drama is set during the California Gold Rush, and the girl of the title is one of Puccini’s most appealing heroines - a strong, independent woman determined to win the man she loves. Although it fell out of favor with audiences for a few decades following its original success, Fanciulla has rebounded in popularity in recent years and is now counted among Puccini’s best works.Music historian Jeffrey Engel will present today’s opera talk, offering historical context for the composer and the opera story. In Paris for 14 years, Mr. Engel studied cello, art history and earned diplomas in French. As a cellist he played with orchestras in France, including the Paris Opera, performed in chamber ensembles and taught in municipal conservatories. A graduate of Ithaca College, & a teacher at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Mr. Engel brings a rich knowledge of music history to each lecture, with musical excerpts.
Registration is appreciated.