How the West Was Sung: Italian Opera Goes Americana with Gold Rush Story

Omaha World-Herald: Go

Some people might wonder how an opera by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini could be set during the American gold rush.

That’s the case with “La Fanciulla del West,” the next Opera Omaha production, opening Friday at the Orpheum Theater. It’s the story of Minnie, a female barkeep in an 1850s California mining town. She becomes a surrogate mom and sister to the men who have left their families to travel cross-country seeking fortune.

The show features rough miners, guns and lots of fights — and it’s all sung in Italian.