The sound of fortune-hunters’ pickaxes digging for gold in 1850s California marks the opening scene of “Girls of the Golden West” by composer John Adams. In creating the opera, Adams and librettist Peter Sellars drew heavily on the letters of a doctor’s wife, Louise Clappe, who exposed the brutality toward women and ethnic tensions that broiled under the optimism of the Gold Rush. Adams joins us in-studio to discuss “Girls of the Golden West,” which plays the San Francisco Opera through mid-December.
John Adams, composer, “Girls of the Golden West”
- ‘Girls of the Golden West’ is Nothing Like Your High School History Book
- Mining Songs Get a Sinister Twist in ‘Girls of the Golden West’