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La Fanciulla del West di Giacomo Puccini: paesaggi sonori e immaginario popolare, tra Stati Uniti e Italia

The article addresses two sets of issues related to La fanciulla del West, one of Giacomo Puccini’s least known and represented operas. First, it analyzes the idea of America that the opera conveys, focusing on Puccini’s musical choices and on the narrative and formal strategies he uses to evoke a conventional image of the American West. Several passages of the opera are read as attempts at constructing a Western landscape, through the juxtaposition of musical and textual references that are frequently contrasting with each other. Second, the article submits that La fanciulla’s implicit subject is Italian society at theturn of the century and that especially Italian migration to the United States is one of the themes that Puccini remarkably alludes to. Building up a fictitious American West he provides a truthful portrait of some aspects of the Italy of his time and offers new insight into its imagery.

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Fiorenzo Iuliano
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