On November 7, the Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI), in partnership with the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, will offer audiences a sneak peek at a remarkable new opera, Girls of the Golden West. The event, Girls of the Golden West: Inspiring a New Multicultural Opera, will feature speakers and performers from the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Girls of the Golden West (music by John Adams, libretto by Peter Sellers) is based on the story of three women who lived in a small mining community in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1850. Says the SF Opera, “The opera is based on factual events and persons that typify the mix of wildness, optimism, greed, violence, humor, and racial prejudice of the era, all played out against the rugged beauty of California’s mountain surroundings…” Girls of the Golden West will receive its world premiere later in November at the SF War Memorial Opera House.
Professor Chiho Sawada, director of APPSI, spoke on what inspired him to bring this event to campus:
"In organizing the APPSI Series, I seek programs with a strong connection to issues of social justice and cultural diversity. This opera really captured my attention not only because it's a brand new work by the great contemporary composer John Adams, but also because it re-visions, so to speak, the Gold Rush in important ways through the lenses of gender, class, and ethnicity. Girls of the Golden West presents a thought-provoking intersectionality of identities and experiences, blending relatively familiar accounts of adventure and heroism with voices that have all too often been ignored or silenced. Audiences will encounter a fascinating libretto that draws on the iconic words of Mark Twain and Dame Shirley, as well as lesser-known Latina memoirs and Chinese poetry that vividly convey amazing resilience in the face of great difficulties. Because this is a new opera, it is an opportunity for students to see opera as a living art form, and to experience it firsthand. Our students are skilled at connecting our programs to contemporary issues, and they will have many opportunities to do that with this piece.”
Girls of the Golden West: Inspiring a New Multicultural Opera
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Valley Center for the Performing Arts at Holy Names University
Free and open to the public