Giacomo Puccini

La fanciulla

del West

Sunday 7. January 2024 19:00 – 21:45 One intermission Main Stage
30 Minuten vor der Vorstellung
im Gustav Mahler-Saal
Cycle »Puccini«

Ticket information

Season 2023/2024

With two new productions for the 2023/24 season, this cycle brings together four of Puccini's operas that are currently in the repertoire. The new productions of Il trittico and Turandot are complemented by the Zeffirelli production of La bohème and La fanciulla del West, which has become a classic.

28. November 2023: LA BOHEME
07. January 2024: LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST
24. February 2024: IL TRITTICO
04. June 2024: TURANDOT


Season 2024/2025

Four central works of opera history united in the Puccini cycle. The Zeffirelli production of La bohème, which has become a classic, and the audience favorite Tosca are paired with the new production of Turandot from 2023 and Madama Butterfly from 2020.

28. October 2024: LA BOHÈME
11. November 2024: MADAMA BUTTERFLY
20. January 2025: TURANDOT
14. May 2025: TOSCA

Cast at
7. January 2024

Sheriff Jack Rance

Claudio Sgura

Dick Johnson (Ramerrez)

Yonghoon Lee


Carlo Rizzi

Regie und Licht

Marco Arturo Marelli


Marco Arturo Marelli


Dagmar Niefind

About the Production

Short Summary

The American West, the gold rush, the Californian gold rush.

The story centers on Minnie, the landlady of a saloon, and her romantic relationship with a bandit named Dick Johnson, known by the alias Ramerrez. As Minnie and Johnson's love blossoms, the arrival of lawman Jack Rance threatens to expose Johnson's true identity and destroy their happiness. With dramatic conflicts, passionate music and a captivating love story, Puccini takes us into a world full of suspense, emotion and unexpected twists and turns in the Wild West.

La fanciulla

del West


It's closing time in an American mining camp. Nick, the bartender, opens the bar, the workers return from their day's work and wait for Minnie, the boss of the pub and also the only woman in the camp.

They pass the time with whisky, card games and brawls. To distract them, Nick plays a song from the distant homeland, Larkens can't stand it any longer because of homesickness and the mates collect money to enable him to travel home. The self-appointed sheriff Jack Rance, who is after Minnie, boasts to everyone that Minnie will soon be his wife; this puts him at odds with Sonora, who is also madly in love with Minnie.

Minnie arrives in the middle of this battle and puts everyone in their place. She not only runs the economy, but also tries to give the rough guys school lessons in winter and provides some contemplation and reflection with a Bible lesson. Ashby, the boss of a transportation company, visits the camp. He is looking for a bandit called Ramerrez, who has been making the area unsafe for some time.

The mail arrives and a dispatch from a dubious woman informs Ashby of Ramerrez's supposed whereabouts. When Jack is alone with Minnie, he tries to win her love by offering her a lot of money. She brusquely rejects him, telling him about her poor but happy life and the love of her parents. When a stranger enters the closely guarded camp, Jack becomes suspicious, calls the workers together and incites them against the stranger. But Minnie vouches for the stranger, who claims to be Mr. Johnson from Sacramento. Minnie and he remember a previous encounter. The stranger is accepted into the community with a little waltz.

The alarm sounds and the workers drag Castro, a member of Ramerrez's gang, to the camp. He has come to lure all the workers out of the camp with false information about Ramerrez's whereabouts in order to give his leader (because the unrecognized Dick Johnson is really Ramerrez) the opportunity to rob the camp. Everyone sets off in pursuit of Ramerrez, leaving Minnie alone with Dick. The burgeoning feelings for Minnie make it impossible for Dick to overpower and rob this woman, who has stayed behind to defend the hidden gold supplies with her life. Before he leaves her, they arrange to meet late that evening in her dwelling up on the mountain.

In her den, Minnie prepares for Dick's visit. When he arrives, she tells him trustingly about her life, but he conceals his true identity from her.

They both confess their feelings to each other, but the idyll is abruptly interrupted by a visit from Jack and some workers. They inform Minnie of Johnson's true identity and warn her about him, the criminal. Disappointed, Minnie confronts Dick and he tries to defend himself: He didn't become a bandit by choice, he says, he was forced to take over his father's band of robbers after he died.

But his meeting with Minnie has shown him the way to a new life. When he realizes how deeply Minnie has been affected by his betrayal of trust, he tries to leave, but as soon as he is outside, he is hit by Jack's bullet, who has been lying in wait for him. Minnie's love awakens again, she opens the door for him and hides the wounded man. But a few drops of blood betray his hiding place to the returning sheriff, who impetuously tries to attack Minnie.

Minnie begins to fight for Dick's life. A game of poker is to decide her and Johnson's fate. If he wins, she will give herself to him and hand Johnson over to him; if she wins, her lover will be hers alone. After taking Jack's word of honor, she wins the game with the wrong cards.

Jack has broken his word of honor to Minnie and does everything he can to catch Dick. As day breaks, the chase begins, but Dick seems to escape at first.

But eventually Ashby manages to catch him. Jack wants to make short work of his rival, he stirs up the mob and the noose is put around Dick's neck.

But the execution stops when Minnie's cries are heard. She takes advantage of the general surprise and stands protectively in front of her lover. Gradually, she succeeds in quelling the men's hatred and lust for murder and persuades them to pardon her lover. Minnie and Dick set off to start a new life elsewhere.

Act 1 60 MIN
Intermission 20 MIN
Act 2 & 3 70 MIN

»Not a trace of kitsch«, was Anton von Webern's euphoric verdict on Puccini's Fanciulla del West, in which the Italian master broke new musical ground in many respects, including a harsher tone. This also correlates with the vision of director and honorary member of the Staatsoper Marco Arturo Marelli, who sees far more in the opera than just a clichéd and overdone Wild West spectacle: his approach to the work focuses on the social world of the destitute and uprooted, who have retained their longing for »a little happiness« in their isolation.

© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper


Tickets for our standing room can be purchased online or at the Bundestheater box office from 10 am on the day of the performance. BundestheaterCard holders can book standing room tickets online the day before the performance.

In addition, a fixed contingent of standing room tickets is available for regular evening performances from 80 minutes before the start of the performance at our standing room box office (Operngasse entrance).

Our operas are sung in the original languages - these vary depending on the work.

At each seat, subtitles in different languages can be switched on or off via a separate subtitle screen. In addition to the original language of the opera, you can choose from up to eight languages: German, English, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin).

In the event of a change of performance, you can of course return or exchange your tickets.

As changes to the cast cannot be ruled out due to illnesses or other hindrances of artists, there is no entitlement to a refund of the ticket price or exchange in this case.

Tickets cannot be returned or exchanged if you are not admitted to the auditorium due to being late (even after the interval).

About Your Visit


The cloakrooms are located next the the entrances at the Operngasse. You can find additional cloakrooms on the left and right side of the balcony and the gallery and in the boxes. All cloakrooms are free of charge.

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