from the 2006 Berkeley Opera production of The Girl of the Golden West

From the San Francisco Classical Voice, 15 July 2006:
“Great news for those of us who treasure this underappreciated masterpiece”

Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West … has all the time-honored aspects of the Western, with the addition of some marvelous music, but the Italian libretto provides an unintentional laugh every time a character calls for “wheesky” or addresses the “sceriffo” (sheriff). Never was a great opera so in need of a good English translation — and now it has one courtesy of David Scott Marley ….

[Marley’s] idiomatic language fits these characters like well-worn boots; it never calls attention to itself but is suited to singing.

From the Contra Costa Times, 20 July 2012:
“An excellent new English-language adaptation by David Scott Marley”

This version does what any good translation should do — make the opera clearer, more concise, and closer to home. Marley, who has written a number of English adaptations for Berkeley Opera — including “The Riot Grrrl on Mars,” the hilarious outer-space comedy based on Rossini’s “The Italian Girl in Algiers” — hews to Puccini’s overall scheme while clarifying the relationships outlined in the opera’s source material, David Belasco’s play of the same name.

Marley invests the story with keen dramatic urgency.

From the San Francisco Chronicle, 21 July 2006:
“A true operatic Western”

The Berkeley Opera’s wonderful new version at the Julia Morgan Theatre returns the piece to its American roots, with a canny new English libretto by David Scott Marley that draws on both the opera and the David Belasco play that was its source. … [Marley] keeps the language fluent and distinctly American.


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