The 51st Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago opened with a new production of an opera that is perhaps the composer‘s most underestimated work: “La Fanciulla del West” – often dismissed as a mere “western opera“. The musical director was Alberto Veronesi, artistic director of the festival. Ivan Stefanutti was the stage director, with spectacular sets by American painter Nall and an all-star cast including Daniela Dessì and Fabio Armiliato (the singers are regarded as two of the leading interpreters of Italian soprano and tenor roles) and the baritone Lucio Gallo.
On 27 March 1918 Anton Webern wrote from Prague to his friend and teacher Arnold Schoenberg after attending a performance of “La Fanciulla del West”: “A score with many original sounds. Magnificent. Every bar a surprise. Very special sounds. Not a trace of kitsch!“ There is little to add to that.