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Rance, Jack


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(Puccini: La fanciulla del West). Bar. Sheriff who is trying to track down the notorious bandit Ramerrez. Rance is keen to marry Minnie, owner of the saloon where the miners gamble and drink. He keeps declaring his love for her, but she does not return his feelings. He learns from Ashby, a Wells Fargo agent, that the bandit is somewhere in their area and Ashby gives him a photograph of Ramerrez. A stranger, Dick Johnson, arrives at the inn and is welcomed by Minnie; Rance is both jealous and suspicious. He calls that evening at Minnie's cabin to warn her that Dick Johnson is the bandit Ramerrez and shows her the photograph to prove it. Minnie laughs and sends them away. As Dick Johnson leaves Minnie's house, he is shot by Rance's men. Minnie hides him in her loft and again Rance visits her. He wants to make love to her but she again rejects him. As he is about to leave, blood drips down from the attic above and Johnson is discovered. Rance agrees to Minnie's bargain—they will play poker and if she wins, Johnson will be let free; if she loses, Rance will win her love. By cheating, Minnie wins, and Rance departs. Determined to catch his quarry, Rance rejoins his men in the forest and indicates to them Johnson's hiding—place. They capture him, but as they are about to hang him, Minnie intervenes. The miners support her pleas and she and Johnson leave together. Aria: Minnie, dalla mia casa son partito (‘Minnie, I left my home’). Created (1910) by Pasquale Amato.

Subjects: Opera.


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