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Om Puccini's La Fanciulla del West - (The G
An opera set in the wild-west provided a novel and sensational experience for the audience at The Met, when La Fanciulla del West was premiered in New York in 1910. The saloon proprietress falls in love with Johnson, a bandit, a 'Wanted' man, and plays poker with the Sheriff for Johnson's life, or her body. She cheats and wins, and claims Johnson.Puccini based his opera on 'The Girl of the Golden West', a drama written by David Belasco, a leading playwright. Puccini paints a picture of life in the Californian Gold Rush, starting in the Polka saloon which run by Minnie and frequented by gold-diggers. The story moves to Minnie's log-cabin, ends by a tree on which Johnson is about to he hanged. There is a love story, a robbery, an attempted rape, a man-hunt. She rides to the rescue and saves him. She has given her best years for the gold-diggers; in return, they should give her Johnson, who is now a reformed character. The gold-diggers accept her argument. The lovers ride off together into the distance.Although La Fanciulla is not among Puccini's most popular operas, it has been a huge success.