This week’s Arias in April broadcast features another production from the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 43rd Festival Season, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West. It will air on Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 p.m and Sunday, April 10 at 11:00 p.m.
Set in California during the gold rush of 1849-1850, this complex drama bears a slight resemblance to the American western film and television genre. The Girl of the Golden West refers to Minnie, owner of the Polka Saloon in a miners’ camp near the mountains. Sheriff Jack Rance, along with many of the miners of the town, all compete for her love and attention but she instead chooses the mysterious Dick Johnson, a newcomer. Sheriff Rance discovers that Johnson is in fact the infamous bandit, Ramerrez, and sets out to end both his freedom and relationship with Minnie. Soprano Alexandra Lobianco performs as Minnie, bass-baritone Kristopher Irmiter is Sherriff Jack Rance, and tenor Jonathan Burton is Dick Johnson. All three artists are making their Des Moines Metro Opera Mainstage debut.