Review: 'Golden West' Love Tale Dazzles

Omaha World-Herald: Go

Minnie is a gun-toting saloon operator who has coarse tomboy mannerisms, the nurturing air of a mother hen and the most romantic of hearts.

She’s the heroine of “La Fanciulla del West,” aka “The Girl of the Golden West,” the 106-year-old work by Giacomo Puccini that had its Opera Omaha premiere Friday night.

Far-from-home miners in her California mountain town during the final days of the Gold Rush in the 1850s find Minnie absolutely irresistible. She acts as a surrogate mom and sister, comforting them when they’re lonely, using the Bible to teach reading and emphasizing its message that any man can find redemption. In turn, the miners bring her gifts and offer their steadfast devotion.