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The Sunday Opera: Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West" with Tebaldi, Del Monaco, and MacNeil from 1958

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We’ll turn to a classic recording of a much loved opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/17 3:00 p.m.) and a 1958 recording of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West” featuring a stellar cast that truly doesn’t get enough air play today.  Minnie, the “girl” of the title, is Renata Tebaldi, Mario Del Monaco is the bandit-in-disguise Dick Johnson (a.k.a. Ramerez) with whom she falls in love much to the consternation of Sherriff Jack Rance sung by Cornell MacNeil, and she saves Ramerez’s life by cheating at poker to “win” him. 

The cast also features Giorgio Tozzi as the blind ballad singer Jake Wallace.  Franco Capuano conducts the Chorus and Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia.  Following the opera, we’ll continue with the music of Puccini and a ballet adaptation of his score for “Madama Butterfly” arranged and conducted by John Lanchbery.  Join host Michael Kownacky for an afternoon of romance and beautiful melodies.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.