La Fanciulla Del West

Puccini’s rarely performed masterwork La Fanciulla del West is a romantic Western epic featuring one of opera’s greatest scores and lushest orchestrations. The two casts are led by internationally acclaimed sopranos Susan Bullock and Jill Gardner in the title role of Minnie, who stands alongside Tosca and Butterfly as one of Puccini’s. La fanciulla del West, Act 1. In 1850s California at the base of the Cloudy Mountains, gold miners make their way into the Polka Saloon after a hard day’s work. As they drink and sing, traveling minstrel, Jake Wallace enters the saloon and entertains the miners with a song of his own. This site commemorates the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West at the Metropolitan Opera on December 10, 1910.

  1. La Fanciulla Del West Synopsis
  2. La Fanciulla Del West Plot
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Lloyd Webber ref[edit]

'Many of the main melodies, composed by Puccini for Girl of the Golden West were taken by modern day composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and arranged into his musical The Phantom of the Opera. Even though GOTGW was a flop, Puccini's music still remains beautifully in the hearts of millions, but sadly under a different name.'

I have deleted this paragraph from the article because of its obvious bias. This allegation should probably be discussed by Wikipedia users before any reference to it is reinserted into the article.

Gildir 00:25, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I have put it back in in this:

Many listeners of the opera also note that it bears some resemblance to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. However, it has never been fully proved whether Weber looked to The Girl of the Golden West for ideas.

This shows that it's merely the opinion of some listeners that it's similar, but that it's still open for debate.

La fanciulla del west imslp 17:39, 18 July 2006 (UTC)However, the man's surname is Lloyd Webber, not 'Weber,' a different composer entirely.

La fanciulla del west jonas kaufmann 17:39, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Although I won't go so far as to remove it again, I join those who question the notability and accuracy of the Webber reference. What we're talking about here is a four-bar passage from one of the best-known arias in Fanciulla that bears a strong resemblance to a four-bar passage from one of the best-known songs in Phantom. That hardly seems significant.

As currently written, the article grossly overstates the case, implying that 'listeners might perceive' a resemblance of the entire opera, which is not the case. It also implies that the 'Quello che tacete' / 'Music of the Night' passage is merely 'an example' of the similarity, when in fact it is the whole of it. The sentence pointing out that no intentional copying has been proven implies that there's any merit to such an accusation in the first place. It has 'never been proved' whether George Washington was a child molester, either, but one certainly wouldn't add a sentence to Wikipedia saying so. Iglew (talk) 03:03, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but I completely agree that Webber borrowed from Puccini to create the 'Music of the Night' - which, after all, is the signature tune of The Phantom. It may only be four bars, but they are the most important four bars of the song - everything else is just a build up to that part of the Phantom's 'aria'. Perhaps this discussion of Webber's reputation for 'borrowing' tunes from other composers would be better addressed on the Wikipedia entry for Andrew Llyod Webber. For example, the New York Times, in reviewing the Broadway production of The Phantom, stated that Webber had appropriated a few Puccini and Meyerber melodies. It appears that his fans have ruthlessly excised all references to plagarism from that article. And it is surprising that not to find any discussion about the infamous 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'. Idesofmontreal (talk) 22:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC) (talk) 02:08, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I would welcome a separate discussion of Webber's borrowings somewhere. I hear about it all the time, but it seems way out of proportion to concrete examples. Here in this Fanciulla article, for example, the 'quello che tacete' resemblance is cited as 'an example'. OK, so if it's one example, what's another one? But no one has ever pointed me to another one. If you know of one, I'd love to hear about it.

Compare that to more blatant examples of borrowing that don't even get mentioned. I see nothing about the 'Avalon' 'e lucevan le stelle' resemblance on the Tosca article, even though Ricordi prevailed in a copyright lawsuit on the point. And here in the Fanciulla article there's no mention of Puccini's borrowing from Carlos Troyer for Jake Wallace's song, which is far more extensive than Webber's borrowing from Puccini.

By the way, for what it's worth, I'm not much of a fan of Webber, though I'm a big fan (and a bit of a scholar) of Puccini. Iglew (talk) 01:26, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

OK, I rewrote the Webber paragraph (and took the opportunity to add a referenced paragraph about the real influence from Carlos Troyer). If any of you think I've misrepresented the Webber connection, have at it. If there are any other Webber connections to Fanciulla (or any other Puccini), I'm still waiting to hear what they are. Iglew (talk) 07:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I came here trying to find mention of this borrowing, as I'm listening to tonight's free live stream of the Puccini by the Met and was hit by the similarity to the Webber. Would someone please clue me in on what is infamous about 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'? WordwizardW (talk) 08:13, 8 April 2020 (UTC)

That paragraph was removed on 15 June 2019 without a sound reason. I've now restored it. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:08, 8 April 2020 (UTC)


It is alleged that this is the most 'complete' opera in the classic repetory, as it is the perfect blend of Grand Opera, Horse Opera, and Soap Opera. [email protected] 16:10, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

It's also the original spaghetti Western. (talk) 04:11, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Performance history[edit]

I can't find any sources to confirm the Deutsche Opernhaus information. As for the statement that La fanciulla is 'Puccini's only venture into impressionism', opera historians such as Phillip Gossett have pointed out elements of Debussy-like Impressionism in Turandot, Madama Butterfly, and Il trittico. Copana2002 (talk) 16:12, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

That whole section is very weak and needs a complete re-write (and expansion) in my view. I've found a source that confirms the German premiere took place, but the reception there, both by the critics and the audience, was anything but 'trimphant'.[1]. Please go ahead and improve that section. It would be greatly appreciated. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 22:45, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I took out the impressionism line. In my opinion Turandot and Tabarro are more impressionistic than Fanciulla, but regardless of my opinion it is surely false that Fanciulla is Puccini's *only* venture into impressionism. Iglew (talk) 07:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Film adaptations[edit]

This section should be removed. The four films listed are adaptations of the David Belasco play, not the Civinini-Zangarini libretto. The Internet Movie Database gives a writing credit to David Belasco. Idesofmontreal (talk) 01:24, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree – none of the films mentioned depicts the opera. However, User:Cgingold disagrees; see here. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:23, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree also that none of the films mentioned depicts the opera, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:35, 14 April 2014 (UTC)


'It was a mystery to many why no recordings of excerpts from La Fanciulla del West were made at the time of its premiere, as Caruso, Destinn and Amato were all under contract to the most prestigious recording firm in America, the Victor Talking Machine Company. It was later revealed that music publisher Giulio Ricordi forbade the the recording of excerpts because he thought recordings would somehow dampen the sales of musical scores.'

Removed above unencyclopedic and unsourced comment from article in case anyone wants to discuss it here. --GuillaumeTell 00:08, 6 August 2010 (UTC)


This page's hatnote has gotten very long and wordy. Since it is very unlikely that someone would have navigated to the page 'Fanciulla del west' by accident, how about deleting the note altogether and moving the page references to a 'See also' list at the bottom of the page. I think this would be more helpful to readers. Markhh (talk) 16:48, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, it's possible to get there by typing in 'The Girl of the Golden West', and it's to those readers that the hatnote is directed. I was working with a new editor yesterday who wanted to create The Girl of the Golden West (play), which we did; we typed in 'The Girl of the Golden West' to see where it would go, and found ourselves at the opera. Perhaps it should go to a dab page instead? In that case I don't think the hatnote should be needed. The opera is presumably the most likely target for someone typing that phrase in, though, so I don't know if the redirect should change. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:01, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Since there are now four good article options for the same title, 'Girl of the Golden West', play, films, and opera, a dab page that also incorporated the film dab page would be the way to go. The secondary film dab page could then be deleted or merged. Much simpler and more useful. I can do it if all are agreed. Markhh (talk) 17:39, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me -- thanks. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 20:11, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Also sounds good to me. --GuillaumeTell 00:40, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Creating a disambiguation page The Girl of the Golden West (disambiguation) which would provide links to the play, the opera and to the films at The Girl of the Golden West (film) seems a good idea. That would then open the opportunity for a simple hatnote: For other uses, see …. Just don't change the title of this page or any of the REDIRECTs pointing to it. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:49, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Would it be best to move the film dab page to the new dab page, since that's really a draft of the dab page we're talking about? That would preserve edit history and leave a redirect from the film dab to the dab. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:27, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Brilliantly simple / simply brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:00, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Then what to do with The Girl of the Golden West? Redirect to the dab page? Markhh (talk) 23:56, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I think it would be OK to leave it pointing here -- wouldn't this be the most likely target? Or is the opera never referred to by that name? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:59, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Mike Christie not to change the target of that REDIRECT. That English title is regularly used by opera companies in their promotional material and by reviewers, even though the work is always performed in Italian. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:05, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Done! (I almost forgot!) Markhh (talk) 02:39, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Toscanini quote[edit]

This sentence makes no sense and should be rewritten: 'Conductor Arturo Toscanini heralded the opera's orchestra [sic] as a 'great symphonic poem.' Did A.T. mean the opera's orchestration or its score? Autodidact1 (talk) 07:56, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

This is what the (linked) quoted source says: 'Puccini's orchestra is most definitely a protagonist in this opera, prompting Toscanini to have called it a 'great symphonic poem'.' I've clarified it now in the article. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:22, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

What's the difference between the orchestration and the score? (talk) 20:34, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

References in synopsis[edit]

I question the references to some particular lines in the synopsis here, the one that caught my eye was the 'Ah! Ah! E Minnie' in the third act, it's both wrong and misleading linguistically but I didn't correct it since I'm not sure it's the best line to reference for this part of the story. I had a look at the Ricordi vocal score and 'Non vi fu mai chi disse: «Basta!»' seems like a better choice, at first glance.

Does someone know if there's a tradition of using some variation of 'Ah!/È Minnie' to refer to this scene? JohnofYod (talk) 03:03, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

I get about the same number of search results for both terms. I think the quoted text should mention both parts: 'È Minnie! ... Non vi fu mai chi disse 'Basta!' -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:12, 19 December 2020 (UTC)
Retrieved from ''

More info on Fanciulla del West


Giacomo Antonio Puccini


Guelfo Civinini, and Carlo Zangarini


10 December 1910, New York (Metropolitan Opera)




Fanciulla del West Synopsis


Fanciulla del West Libretto


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About the opera Fanciulla del West

La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West) is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, based on the play The Girl of the Golden West by the American author David Belasco. Its highly-publicised premiere occurred in New York City in 1910. Fanciulla followed Madama Butterfly, which was also based on a Belasco play. The opera has fewer of the show-stopping highlights that are characteristic of other Puccini works, but is admired for its impressive orchestration and for a score that is more melodically integrated than is typical of his previous work. Fanciulla shows the influence of the work of Claude Debussy and Richard Strauss without being in any way imitative.
La fanciulla del West was commissioned by, and first performed at, the Metropolitan Opera in New York on 10 December 1910 with Met stars Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn for whom Puccini created the leading roles of Dick Johnson and Minnie. Also in the cast was Pasquale Amato as Jack Rance. The Met's music director Arturo Toscanini conducted. This was the first world premiere of an opera at the Met,and it was initially well received in the United States. However, it was never quite as popular in Europe, except perhaps in Germany. There it enjoyed a triumphant premiere at the Deutsche Opernhaus in Berlin (now known as the Deutsche Oper) in March 1913, under the musical direction of Ignatz Waghalter.
Read more on Wikipedia

Roles in Fanciulla del West

Minnie Soprano
Ramerrez Tenor
Jack Rance Baritone
Nick Tenor
Ashby Bass
Sonora Baritone
Trin Tenor
Sid Baritone

More details roles

External links for Fanciulla del West

Sheetmusic for opera
Sheetmusic for opera
MP3's for this opera on
DVD/CD's for this opera on

Popular videos from Fanciulla del West

Or son sei mesi
Carlo Cossutta

La fanciulla del west youtube
Laggiu nel Soledad ero piccina
La fanciulla del west youtube
Gigliola Frazzoni

All scenes from Fanciulla del West

Arias from Fanciulla del West
Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Laggiu nel Soledad ero piccinaPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 1Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: ItalianRoles: Minnie
2Che faranno i vecchi mieiPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 1Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: ItalianRoles: Jake Wallace
3Minnie dalla mia casa son partitoPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 1Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: ItalianRoles: Jack Rance

La Fanciulla Del West Synopsis

4Io son che una povera fanciullaPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 1Type: ariaVoice: tenorLanguage: ItalianRoles: Ramerrez
5Oh! se sapeste come il vivere e allegroPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 2Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: ItalianRoles: Minnie

La Fanciulla Del West Plot

6Or son sei mesiPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 2Type: ariaVoice: tenorLanguage: ItalianRoles: Ramerrez
7Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontanoPopularity: Opera: Fanciulla del WestComposer: PucciniAct: 3Type: ariaVoice: tenorLanguage: ItalianRoles: Ramerrez