Picture a Puccini opera in Tuscany and New York. Then think Charlotte, first.

Opera Carolina will collaborate with the returning/revitalized New York City Opera and the town of Puccini’s birth (Lucca in Tuscany) to present what it’s calling the 2017 Puccini Festival. Together, they’ll do a new production of “La Fanciulla del West” (“The Girl of the Golden West”), the composer’s first opera based in America. (If that sounds familiar, and you’re not an opera aficionado, it may be because there was a legal scuffle between the Puccini estate and Andrew Lloyd Webber over the opera’s main melody. It appeared in altered form as “Music of the Night” in Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”)

Costumes, sets and lighting will all be created in Charlotte, and Opera Carolina will perform the work in April 2017. Then it will go to New York that September and travel to Lucca in November.

James Meena, Opera Carolina’s general director and principal conductor, says Pisa and Livorno will also host performances, and he’s hoping to add other venues. He’ll conduct all performances. New York City Opera’s general director, Michael Capasso, will help; he’s slated to direct Opera Carolina’s production of “Pagliacci/Aleko” this April. (That’s the show after the upcoming “Romeo & Juliet,” which opens Jan. 24.)

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article53521090.html#storylink=cpy