Breaking: Woody Allen to direct opera in Madrid

Breaking: Woody Allen to direct opera in Madrid


norman lebrecht

February 17, 2014

Joan Matabosch has presented plans for his opening season at the Teatro Real and they are eye-catching.

Woody Allen will direct Puccini’s Gianni Schicci with Placido Domingo in the title role. The opera will be paired with the little-seen Goyescas by Granados.

The veteran Spanish actress Carmen Maura (pictured) will play opposite Natalie Dessay in Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment and various Spanish designers will parade their wares on stage.

More here.

UPDATE: Anne Midgette points out below that Woody Allen directed Gianni Schicchi back in 2008 as his operatic debut in Los Angeles. This may be a revival.

carmen maura


  • Derek Castle says:

    Schicchi, I think.

    • Jim says:

      Skeechee for English speakers?

      • sdReader says:

        Skeekee, actually.

      • Derek Castle says:

        No, ‘skeekee’! The ‘h’ makes a ‘c’ and a ‘g’ hard, as in ‘spaghetti’, ‘Lamborghini’, ‘Borghese’, ‘Chianti’, ‘ghetto’ – and the much mispronounced ‘bruschetta’…..and Rossini’s overture ‘Il Signor Bruschino’ (bruskeeno). Not a ‘sh’ in sight! Here endeth the lesson. (D.C., learning Italian in old age)

  • David Boxwell says:

    How many will squirm in embarrassment when “O mio babbino caro” is sung?

    • BobG says:

      The aria is O mio babbino caro, not O mio bambino caro. Lauretta is singing to her father, wheedling him into letting her marry the man she loves. Why would anyone squirm?

      • Because of the thought of hearing it sung by an adult with actual vocal technique, I think…

      • Derek Castle says:

        Nobody – yet! – on this illustrious blog has claimed it’s spelt ‘bambino’. I think people ‘squirm’ because the likes of Jackie Evancho (yes, ‘evanko’) sing it as a stand-alone aria, as if it were Tosca or Mimi with toothache. ‘Gianni Schicchi’ is a rollicking comedy and I think Puccini is trying to outdo ‘Puccini’ in this little episode – saying to his audience: “Now I know this schmaltz is really what you’ve come for”. Just look at the words; very tongue-in-cheek.

    • Janey says:

      Embarrassment? More likely – and I would hope – disgust. No, I would not go near this.

  • Norman, Woody Allen directed Gianni Schicchi back in 2008 as his operatic debut in Los Angeles (for Placido Domingo, though Domingo didn’t sing it). I am guessing this is a revival. I thought it was pretty great; here’s my review.

  • Cambridge says:

    Domingo and Woody Allen. Sounds like a veterans festival or old folks evening!

    Domingo really shouldn’t be singing these parts. He really can’t disguise the fact he is a tenor who has lost his top.

  • JJC says:

    Really? Well, how low can we sink. Is there no shame at all?

  • m2n2k says:

    His staging of GS six years ago at the LA Opera was very well done – it had true sense of fun without being too much over the top.

  • CDH says:

    I thought Spain was in economic meltdown? Nice to see thast while places like New York can’t sustain its secondary opera company, and orchestras all over the US are in financial tremour, Madrid can afford this high-price line-up. Perhaps they are operating on the principle of “spend a peso, make a peso” — but can their beleaguered countrymen afford to get them their revenues?