September 2, 2004

Film Directors 'Discover' Opera?

Irene Lacher writes in the NYT about the influx of film directors to the operatic stage. Lacher likes her movie directos old and in hollywood; she mentions Garry Marshall, William Friedkin, Robert Altman. Sure, Julie Taymor, who was directing operas long before Disney got her to direct Lion King...on Broadway, which was before she directed an actual film. And Scorsese, who's repeatedly told the Met the opera can wait as he heeds the camera's call.

And she likes her opera small and local. Baz Luhrman gets a parenthetical, but then, he only directed La Boheme, TWICE. Zhang Yimou's mentioned in passing, but, oddly, not for either of his spectacular Turandot stagings.

And film's biggest opera divas, meanwhile, are left talking to the hand: Lars von Trier's high profile abandonment of Bayreuth (doesn't Wagner still count as opera? I mean, come on, Viking chicks? Hello?) gets nothing. And a movie/opera article without even a hint of Peter Greenaway, whose movie-opera-website-installation art synesthesia made him the tiresome eminence grise of the genre? As W. says, we've turned a corner.

The Camera Can Wait: Directors Hear Opera's Call [NYT]

[update: Barry/Bloggy also points out another director who's operatic dabblings don't register in Hollywood never heard of in Hollywood: Luchino Visconti. So he revived Donizetti at La Scala with Maria Callas. What's he done lately?]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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