La Fanciulla del West — John Ford meets Puccini

Peter Waters

I usually write about the plot of an opera, however, with  this strange opera, which  is located in California at the time of the Gold Rush, I thought you would like to read the review from The New York Times. If  you click here you can read the glowing review for yourselves.

I am going to introduce to you the soprano who sings the role of Minnie. Deborah Voigt, is a singer of world renown. She loves singing at The Met.  This is her “opera home.” Miss Voigt often introduces the live broadcast’ we see, so from that point of view she is familiar to us.

However we have yet to hear her sumptuous voice, (I say we, but unfortunately, I will be out of town at a conference.) I was very surprise when I saw the program for this current season, because of the vast diversity between  the roles  of Minnie in Puccini’s opera and  Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Die Walkure, which will be broadcast later this season. Now, having  read  the review’s how  Deborah  Voigt  shades  her voice,  I am less concerned, but she really is expecting a lot from her  vocal chords, it is true she has been expanding her repertoire,  by opera’s Verdi , Richard Strauss, Gluck  and  Puccini’s Tosca. Therefore I can understand why  she  is  singing Minnie.

Deborah Voigt was born on August4, 1960, in the town of Wheeling, Illinois. As a child, she sang in church and school choirs and as her voice developed she began taking lead roles  in larger productions. At that time she hadn’t thought of an opera career or  the Metropolitan Opera. Upon graduation she moved to California and after a false start at a music college, won a vocal scholarship that enabled her to enter California State University. That was her launch pad, winning many national awards. Voigt made her professional debut at Carnegie Hall in 1988. She won the Adler Fellowship and apprenticed at San Francisco Opera for two year’s. Little did she know there would  be a lasting connection in San Francisco 49ers football and the 49ers Gold Rush of Puccini’s La Fanciulla  del West! Deborah Voigt became the soprano every international opera house clamored to hear. She has not recorded much, which is mainly because of  bad  luck. Maybe it was not her time, but a change in better fortune seems to be at hand.  Some of her recent opera performances will be available very soon. Imagine my delight when I discovered one of them is Tristan und Isolde — 4 1/2 hours of some of the most sublime music Wagner ever wrote.

Now, he first thing you need to know is that Carl Rankin has a very sweet deal for all the remaining operas. There will be no more 9.30 or 10 am screenings. Instead he has managed to arrange with the Cineplex Corp to allow us the unique privilege of watching them at 1 pm.

Therefore you can enjoy La Fanciulla del West on Saturday, February 19 at 1pm at The Roxy.

Please check it out. It really is totally depressing when we see an audience you can count on two.

Deborah Voigt is one of a handful of the greatest sopranos in the world today. Surely that should pique your.

Peter Waters is a local actor and director