Girls of the Golden West
Composer: John Adams
Librettist: Peter Sellars
Premiere Date: November 21, 2017
Producing Company: San Francisco Opera
Description: Girls of the Golden West transpires in the historic mining camps of Rich Bar and Downieville during California’s transition from territory to American statehood, a period which coincided with the Gold Rush and its unprecedented migration of people from around the world attracted by the prospect of striking it rich in the region’s gold fields. Sellars’ libretto draws from sources illuminating multiple perspectives of this global event, including the California history classic The Shirley Letters, a collection of 23 letters by Louise Clappe penned under the name “Dame Shirley” describing the rugged conditions and clash of cultures in the gold mining camps from 1851 to 1852; the diary of Chilean miner Ramón Gil Navarro; memoirs of fugitive slaves; poems of Chinese immigrants; the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni; Frederick Douglass’ speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”; gold miner songs; and Mark Twain’s Roughing It.
Character List (Major): Dame Shirley, Ned Peters, Joe Cannon, Ah Sing, Clarence, Josefa Segovia, Ramon, Lola Montez
Length: 3:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Contact: Not Available
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