Land of Gold

Author: Poorhouse International

The Making of John Adams´ and Peter Sellars´ opera “Girls of the Golden West”.

  • Paul Appleby, Peter Sellars, J_Nai Bridges in Land of Gold | Copyright: © Juno Films

    Paul Appleby, Peter Sellars, J_Nai Bridges in Land of Gold © Juno Films

Poorhouse International is very pleased to present the documentary “Land of Gold” about the creation of John Adams´ latest opera as we are also handling his recording of American music with the Cleveland Orchestra. “Filmmaker Jon Else turns an operatic flop into cinematic gold”, headlines Andrew Gilbert´s review of Jon Else´s fly on the wall documentary about the rehearsals of John Adams´ and Peter Sellars´ opera “Girls of the Golden West”. Commissioned by San Francisco Opera, it tells the stories of various groups who joined in the quest for getting rich quickly during the California Gold Rush in the mid -1800s. Peter Sellars, who fashioned the libretto from historical texts, and John Adams already have previously collaborated on “Nixon in China”, “The Death of Klinghoffer” and “Doctor Atomic”. This new project, “not exactly an opera and not exactly a musical” in John Adams´ words, was not well received at its première in 2017, but the film by Jon Else takes a detailed look at the production and rehearsals, including interviews with the leading singers, the composer and the director and thereby preserves the best of their joint efforts. As Jon Else put it: “I love filming others struggling to make art”.

The cast includes San Francisco Ballet star Lorena Feijóo as Lola Montez, mezzo soprano J´Nai Bridges as the Mexican barkeeper Josefa Segovia, Julia Bullock as Dame Shirley and Paul Appleby as Joe Cannon.

The edit of “Land of Gold” was delayed during the pandemic and the film has only recently been released.

Duration 82 Minutes
Director Jon Else
Production Company After Image Public Media
Distribution theatrical Juno Films



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