Puccini’s ‘The Girl Of The Golden West’ In Lyon Opera House – OpEd


On March 15, 2024, the Lyon Opera House presented Puccini’s “The Girl of the Golden West.” Premiering at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1910, this opera has predominantly graced American opera houses, though its performances have become less frequent in recent years.

Inspired by Californian author David Belasco, the opera portrays two distinctly different female characters: Madam Butterfly, driven by male desire to a tragic end, and The Girl of the Golden West, who takes control of her own fate, wielding a firearm to achieve her desires.

In Puccini’s work, Minnie, the self-reliant Girl of the Golden West. cheats at cards, handles firearms, and ultimately wins the heart of outlaw Dick Johnson.

This production marks the Lyon premiere of the 1910 opera, featuring Daniele Rustioni’s enthusiastic interpretation of Puccini’s music, rich in intense lyricism and raw emotions. Presented in Italian with French subtitles, the opera unfolds across three acts with a libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, based on David Belasco’s play.

Directed by Tatjana Gürbaca and supported by Aline Foriel-Destezet, a major patron of the festival, this production of “The Girl of the Golden West” brings Puccini’s timeless work to Lyon audiences with renewed vitality and contemporary relevance.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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