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Explore Wild West with Puccini opera

Scene from the “La Fanciulla del West” performance held overseas (KNO)
Scene from the “La Fanciulla del West” performance held overseas (KNO)

The Korea National Opera is set for the Korean premiere of Puccini’s 1910 opera “La Fanciulla del West.”

The upcoming performance, set to run from Thursday at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul, features sopranos Karine Babajanyan and Lilla Lee, tenors Marco Berti and Oliver Kook.

Puccini wrote the opera after watching the play “The Girl of the Golden West,” written by the American author David Belasco, in New York. The opera is set in a mining camp in California and tells the story of Gold Rush miners.

The opera enjoyed a successful premiere at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1910, which Italian maestro Toscanini -- who took the baton for the premiere -- referred to as a “great symphonic poem.” 


Poster image for the KNO’s “La Fanciulla del West” performance (KNO)
Poster image for the KNO’s “La Fanciulla del West” performance (KNO)

The KNO was to go onstage with the opera in April 2020, but the performance was postponed to this year due to the spread of the COVID-19.

Conductor Pietro Rizzo, who worked with the KNO on “Don Carlo” in 2013, will take the baton for the upcoming performance, joined by the Korean Symphony Orchestra and the Met Opera Choir.

Stage director Nicola Berloffa is to direct the performance.

The Italian production team, including the director and conductor, went through the two-week self-quarantine in Korea for the show.

The opera performance will go onstage from Thursday to Sunday at the Seoul Arts Center. Tickets for the performance cost from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. Saturday afternoon’s performance will be live streamed online through the KNO My Opera platform.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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