Mar 30, 2008

Zeffirelli era

Franco Zeffirelli at a Met rehearsal of La Bohème with Angela Gheorghiu (Mimi). Andrea Mohin for The New York Times

In an article published yesterday by the New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin had the opportunity to interview Franco Zeffirelli, 85, currently in New York to direct, once again, a revival of his Bohème production (which premiered in 1981 and had only 346 performances); the MET also celebrated him onstage after Act II of yesterday's evening and presented him with a plaque (as reported in the article, "plaques honoring him will also be permanently affixed on both sides of the proscenium, at eye level for anyone entering or leaving the stage"). According to the MET archives, the total performances of Zeffirelli's productions are a mere... 1,637.
Of course opera is in desperate need to renew itself, and many (including myself) wish the old Zeffirelli view on things was moved from the stages to the museums. Yet, the MET (and others, particularly La Scala) keep on scheduling his productions.
Said Zeffirelli, “What hurts me is a lack of respect for the importance of opera as an art form.”, speaking about the new directors and their view. Seriously?
Well, Mr Zeffirelli, what hurts me is your lack of respect for others' perspectives on opera and your inability to accept that new forms of directing can be as artful as any productions (especially yours).
During the interview, he called himself the best living opera director, but caught himself: “I am the most correct living opera director.” Seriously ?


mostly opera... said...

Completely agree with you on this.

Extatic said...

For once...