In 2013 The Vienna Staatsoper presented a production of Puccini’s western opera. The full cast is below. Musically it was a terrific performance, especially noteworthy was Jonas Kaufmann’s impersonation of the the reluctant robber turned ardent lover. But Marco Arturo Morelli’s production was like a bad version of a Tom Mix silent movie. The acting was so bad, Kaufmann excepted, that by comparison Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier. The crowning goofiness of the show was its end. Instead of riding off from the California mining camp on horseback, Minnie and Johnson ascended in a multicolored hot air balloon. The YouTube video below has been up for quite a while, so it may survive a bit longer before someone calls for its extinction on copyright grounds. Enjoy it while you can, though you might want to turn off the picture. Also, the subtitles are in German.

October 5, 2013

Wiener Staatsoper
Franz Welser-Möst , Cond.
Nina Stemme | Minnie
Tomasz Konieczny | Sheriff Jack Rance
Jonas Kaufmann | Dick Johnson (Ramerrez)
Norbert Ernst | Nick
Paolo Rumetz | Ashby
Boaz Daniel | Sonora
Michael Roider | Trin
Hans Peter Kammerer | Sid
Tae-Joong Yang | Bello
Peter Jelosits | Harry
Carlos Osuna | Joe
Clemens Unterreiner | Happy
Il Hong | Larkens
Jongmin Park | Billy Jackrabbit
Juliette Mars | Wowkle
Alessio Arduini | Jake Wallace
Alessio Arduini | José Castro
Wolfram Igor Derntl | Postillion