Woody Allen's production of 'Gianni Schicchi' travels to Spoleto
Woody Allen is more popular in Europe than anywhere else in the world, so it makes perfect sense that Italy's Spoleto Festival has decided to import the filmmaker's production of "Gianni Schicchi," which had its world premiere at Los Angeles Opera in September.
The comic Puccini opera will run June 26-28 at the Teatro Nuovo in Spoleto. Returning to the podium is James Conlon, L.A. Opera's music director, who will conduct the production just as he did at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Also returning are the three principal singers -- Sir Thomas Allen (in the title role), Laura Tatulescu (Lauretta) and Jill Grove (Zita).
Times critic Mark Swed named L.A. Opera's "Gianni Schicchi" as one of the best classical music events of 2008. In his review, he wrote that Woody Allen "manages to be both irreverent and absolutely true to the music and the spirit of the work."
No word yet as to whether the Woodman will make the trip to Italy for opening night. In L.A., the famously shy director chose to stay backstage rather than take his bow with the rest of the cast and crew.
Can't get to Spoleto and missed the L.A. run? Not to worry. On Saturday, KUSC will broadcast "Gianni Schicchi" (along with the rest of "Il Trittico") starting 10:30 a.m. PST as part of the LA Opera on Air series.
You can listen locally at 91.5 FM or online at the station's website.
-- David Ng
Photo: Thomas Allen, Andrea Silvestrelli, Saimir Pirgu and Steven Cody in "Gianni Schicchi." Credit: Los Angeles Opera.