Joe Austin

Theatre and Opera Director


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Fanciulla del West


Role: Associate director
Santa Fe Opera
Director: Richard Jones

Minnie, the indomitable heroine of La Fanciulla del West, can hold her own with the boys at her saloon. She loves her solitary life in the mountains, but she loves her man more. Yes, you’ve met her before: First imagined by David Belasco, a giant of the American theater, she set the pattern for women characters in scores of Westerns. But on the opera stage, her authenticity will astonish you. Puccini deemed La Fanciulla del West his best opera; critics call it his most “perfectly crafted score.” The harsh realities of the California Gold Rush and its gritty characters have never been more honestly portrayed in drama. Distinguished American soprano Patricia Racette (The Letter, 2009) makes her role debut as Minnie, who will do just about anything to get her man — the outlaw Dick Johnson, portrayed by Gwyn Hughes Jones (La Bohème, 2007). But that leads to a tense, climactic face-off with his competition, the shady sheriff Jack Rance, sung by Mark Delavan (Arabella, 2012). Staged by British Theatre and opera director Richard Jones in his company debut, and co-produced with the English National Opera, this production won the 2015 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Emmanuel Villaume (The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, 2013) conducts.

Performances from 1st July - 27th August

For more information please see the Santa Fe website here

Earlier Event: March 21
Der Ring des Nibelungen
Later Event: August 8
Don Giovanni

 © Joe Austin 2016