The Centennial of the Metropolitan Opera’s First World Premiere

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(New York) – Puccini and Toscanini return to the Metropolitan Opera! Simonetta Puccini, Giacomo Puccini’s granddaughter, and Walfredo Toscanini, Arturo Toscanini’s grandson, are expected to be in attendance at a Met performance 100 years to the day after the premiere of La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), now starring Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Toscanini conducted the Metropolitan Opera’s first-ever world premiere in 1910, whose cast included Enrico Caruso, Emmy Destinn, and Pasquale Amato. Deemed the most spectacular event in the history of the Metropolitan Opera, the star-studded performance had no less than thirty-three curtain calls, and made the front page of the New York Times.

The celebration of the 100th anniversary features an e-conference at loaded with historical information in the form of video interviews with stellar performers, archival images and film, and scholarly essays. The site will be launched at a press event at the Italian Cultural Institute on December 3rd, which will also feature special guests. A symposium will be held at Boston University in collaboration with the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center on December 6, and papers will be delivered to assembled scholars and guests. The symposium will feature an exhibition of original archival material around the theme of Puccini and Fanciulla, showcasing material from collections held at the Center including the papers of Sarah Caldwell, Tito Gobbi, Dorothy Kirsten, Rise Stevens, Deborah Voigt and others.

Puccini’s Fanciulla takes place during the California Gold Rush and was based on the hit Broadway play by American dramatist David Belasco, The Girl of the Golden West. After the successes of La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, Puccini found in Belasco’s Girl of the Golden West just the “modern” melodrama he was looking for. And the “modern” format of the free educational e-conference will provide a treasure trove of vintage and contemporary materials. For more information, visit For more information on the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, please visit

Contact: Deborah Burton
(978) 448-0643