Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Three More Reviews of Gianni Schicchi

"For all opera's artificiality, it works best when some emotional truth is conveyed. And Woody Allen, for all of the reservations he expressed in interviews before the opening, got this in spades. Rather than being over-awed with the opera-ness of it all, he simply plunged into the comedy of "Schicchi" and created something fresh and funny. True to himself, he cast it in film terms, starting with opening titles (projected over tinny recorded silent-film music) that list spoof Italian names such as Luigi Impetigo and others that can't be printed here."

"In spite of the fact that the audience on Saturday night kept applauding, desiring to see Woody Allen join the cast and conductor James Conlon for the curtain call, the film director made no appearance. However, his humor was present throughout the opera, and no one can deny Allen’s outstanding magnificence."

"The red-carpet event at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion featured Hollywood glitterati in the audience and at least one film veteran (Friedkin) on stage taking bows (in tennis shoes) for his adept direction of "Il Tabarro" and "Suor Angelica." In typical fashion, Allen avoided the limelight when his moment for a curtain call came, which was too bad because the audience was dying to show its appreciation for the clever direction he brought to part three of the triptych, the dysfunctional family comedy, "Gianni Schicchi."

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