MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A moving love story set in an 1850s Western mining community culminates the seventh season of the CCP Met Opera in HD, the special screenings showcasing the operatic productions of the Metropolitan Opera of New York, through the high-definition (HD) digital video technology and Dolby sound, recreating the experience of watching an opera production at the Met “live.”
In the Philippines, the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West, a three-act opera based on David Belasco’s The Girl of the Golden West, was screened on March 07 at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 2. It was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1910, with opera stars Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn playing the lead roles of Dick Johnson and Minnie, characters that Puccini created specifically for the two.
In this season-ender screening, Eva-Maria Westbroek takes the role of Minnie, the girl of the title and owner of a bar in a Californian mining camp. Jonas Kaufmann sings Dick Johnson, the bandit-turned-lover, hunted by the cynical sheriff Jack Rance, performed by Željko Lučić, who wants Minnie for himself.
Complete with whiskey-drinking cowboys, gunplay, a poker game, and a snowstorm, La Fanciulla del West is Puccini at his most colorful. While the opera never gained the same popularity as the composer’s other works, Puccini dubbed La Fanciulla as “one of his greatest works.” Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini called it a “great symphonic poem.”
A special program of the CCP Film, Broadcast, and New Media Division, under the Production and Exhibition Department, CCP Met Opera in HD is in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., and Ayala Malls Cinemas.