New England Opera Club

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NEOC Presentation
September 9, 2018


La Fanciulla del West

Other programs: Aida

La Fanciulla del West

10 December 1910 was the date of the initial presentation of Puccini's La  Fanciulla del West at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, but actually there were two debuts that night. It was also New York's debut on the world stage.  By presenting the first-ever American premiere of an opera by a major European composer, the Met hoped to win legitimacy for New York as one of the world's great opera cities.  Without question it accomplished that.  There were no fewer then fifty-five curtain calls throughout the performance and at the end the house applauded for more than fifteen minutes.

Puccini, in Fanciulla,was determined to break free from what he called the "musica zuccherata" (sugary music) of his earlier operas and to position himself as a composer of "serious"  music.  After the opening, he said "...the Girl has come out, in my opinion, the best opera I have written."

La Boheme, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly may be more accessible and more popular but Fanciulla succeeds on a higher level of sophistication and accomplishment.  It is his capolavoro, his chef d'oeuvre, his Meisterwerk.  Anton Webern, whose spare music is as far removed from Puccini's heart-on-sleeve approach as conceivable, wrote to his teacher Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna in 1919 about Fanciulla as "a score with an original sound throughout, splendid - every bar a surprise - I must say I enjoyed it.  Am I wrong?"  No, Anton, you are not wrong.  Puccini's opera convinces us of that.
- Angelo Mammano

Speaker Angelo Mammano is a long-time Board Member of the NEOC.  He is an opera lecturer and writer.  In his former life as a ballet pianist he worked with Boston Ballet and other companies here and in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Library is fully handicap-accessible


Past presentations | Upcoming presentations | Current newsletter (pdf)

Date:
Sunday, September 9, 2018

Time:
2:00 - 4:00 PM

Place:
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street, Watertown, MA

Telephone:
617.972.6421

Directions:

From the West: Take Route 20 East (Main Street) to Watertown Square.


From the East: Take Rte. 16 (Mt. Auburn St.) west. Turn right on Main Street.


Public Transportation: The library is accessible via MBTA Bus routes Express 502, Express 504, 52, 57, 59, 70, 70A, and 71. It is less than a five minute walk to the library from the buses that arrive at Watertown Yard.


Parking: There are plenty of metered (free on Sunday) parking spaces at the rear of the Library, from which you can access the Library through the back door. Drive in on the passage just before the Fire House.

The Library is fully handicap-accessible

 

Aida at Weston Public Library

Aida

Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm
Talk by Erika Reitshamer
Free and open to the public


Upcoming presentations:

October 14, A Collector's Verdi Requiem Speaker: Elizabeth Hubbell

November 4, Carmen
Speaker: Sara Bellini

 

December 16, Great Singers Around Boston, An Historical Survey (Part 4)
Speaker: Ed Tapper


Past presentations


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Contact The New England Opera Club at operainfo@neoperaclub.org

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Monthly Presentations

About Us

NEOC Board

Membership

Opera Links

NEOC Event Calendar on Facebook

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