Coppola to direct first opera

The Hollywood director Sofia Coppola has signed up for La Traviata in Rome.

The deal was announced by Rome Opera chief Carlo Fuortes, who has also got Valentino Garavani to design the costumes. The role of Violetta will be shared by Francesca Dotto and Maria Grazia Schiavo.

Production opens May 24.

Coppola, 44, won an Oscar for Lost in Translation in 2003.

sofia coppola


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  • With Hollywood directing opera… it can only be bad! I’m not hopeful that opera will even survive the next decade. And now that Hollywood liberalism will be infused into classical works, the end is sure. The great composers are turning in their graves.

    • I disagree! I think the composers would probably be thrilled! Here’s Woody Allen’s Gianni Schicchi for LA Opera – it looks terrific!

      Or Zeffirelli’s legendary Tosca with Callas at Covent Garden:

      Terry Gilliam’s Benvenuto Cellini at ENO

      Visconti s Traviata at La Scala with Maria Callas

      Some of the most legendary opera productions ever presented were directed by film directors!

      • Zeffirelli and Visconti started out as theater directors. Woody Allen too, and he also plays the clarinet.
        The problem is when fame alone brings the movie directors to the opera house. No reason to assume out of hand that this is the case with Sofia Coppola, an admirable actress and director in her own right. But asking about her credentials in theater and music is very legitimate.

        • Her grandfather was Carmine Coppola, Juilliard alum in flute. Carmine played Principal Flute in Detroit Symphony and also in the NBC under Toscanini. He also had a distinguished conducting and composing career and wrote method books for flute.

          Carmine’s son, Francis Ford Coppola – Sophia’s father – having grown up in a musical family – often uses subtle classical music references in his films.

          Sophia’s brother, Roman, co-wrote the Mozart In the Jungle series based on Blair Tindall’s book. It’s bringing classical music to a whole new audience.

          Classical music has been an ongoing theme in the Coppola family for several generations.It seems to be in their blood. It’s logical that Sophia would be drawn to, and will probably do a very good job at, opera direction.

          • Her great-uncle, still active at 99, is the composer and conductor Anton Coppola. The whole family has their music act very much together.

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