A taped performance of “La Fanciulla Del West,” from the Metropolitan Opera, conducted by Leonard Slatkin in 1992, will be screened Friday, April 18, as part of the International Film Series.
The series is co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Davis and International House. Doors at I-House, 10 College Park, open at 7:30 p.m. and the film begins promptly at 8 p.m.
There is no charge, but donations are accepted with gratitude to help cover the cost of DVD rental, facilities use and refreshments.
This opera by Giacomo Puccini made its debut at the Met in 1910 with Enrico Caruso.
Puccini had happened to catch Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show on tour in Italy and found the basic material for this opera in the play “The Girl of the Golden West” by American author David Belasco.
Sung in Italian, with English subtitles, the story line is easy to follow. The first act takes place in the Polka Saloon owned by Minnie (Barbara Daniels) and run by bartender Nick (Anthony Laciura) that is frequented by Gold Rush miners, Sheriff Jack Rance (Sherrill Milnes), Ashby the Wells Fargo agent (Julien Robbins), the Pony Express rider and others.
The arrival of a stranger who identifies himself as Dick Johnson from Sacramento (Placido Domingo) creates tension and a rivalry for Minnie’s affection between him and the sheriff.
Act two takes place in Minnie’s cabin after it is discovered that Dick Johnson is actually a fugitive bandit named Ramerrez.
In Act 3 he is captured and about to be hanged when Minnie saves him and they almost literally ride off into the sunset to start a new life together.