Los Angeles Times

Where to look for treasure in California's new gold rush? Try John Adams' new opera

SAN FRANCISCO - There weren't very many girls to choose from for John Adams' new opera, "Girls of the Gold West," which had its premiere here earlier this month. The California Gold Rush was a young man's game of strike-it-rich. And there was no sense of, let alone regard for, the earth-shaking social implications that a sudden infusion of massive wealth would have on the state, the nation and ultimately the world.

That alone makes "Girls" an opera for our time. It doesn't matter from which direction you approach the War Memorial Opera House. You will pass encampments of homeless seemingly growing in direct proportion to the invasion of newly minted

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