Woody Allen to Direct Puccini Opera
His efforts will debut in Los Angeles in 2008
The famed director will make his operatic directorial debut in September 2008 with "Gianni Schicchi," one third of Giacomo Puccini's "Il Trittico," a trio of one-act operas.
"I have no idea what I am doing," Allen said in a statement Thursday, June 21. "But incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
"Trittico" will be the opening event of the 2008-'09 season for the Los Angeles Opera, headed by general director Placido Domingo. The famed Spanish tenor campaigned for four years to get Allen to agree.
Continuing the incongruous trend of unique movie directors trying their hand at opera is William Friedkin ("The Exorcist," "The French Connection"), who will helm the opera's other two portions: "Il Tabarro" and "Suor Angelica."
According to the L.A. Opera press release, "Gianni Schicchi" is Puccini's only comedy, prompting Friedkin to comment, "To have Woody Allen direct 'Gianni Schicchi' is a match made in heaven."
Set in medieval Florence, "Gianni Schicchi" centers on the titular character whose daughter Lauretta wants to marry Rinuccio. This happy event, however, hinges on the will left behind by Rinuccio's relative, the recently deceased Buoso Donati. What follows is a farce that involves forgery, bribery and impersonating a dead man.