Franco Zeffirelli, 95, to stage a new Rigoletto

The picture says it all.

The Italian director has been wheeled out to stage a Verdi opera at the Royal Opera House Muscat for the 50th anniversary of the kingdom of Oman in 2020.

It’s a co-production with Rome Opera and it has been announced by the Italian Minister for Higher Education as a token of Gulf investment in Italian culture.


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  • The Portuguese director, Manoel de Oliveira, made his first film in 1927, and his last film in 2014, at the age of 106.
    Zeffirelli still has some way to go to equal that, but he certainly is trying.

  • Will Zefirelli only direct Rigoletto in Muscat?

    The Rome Opera website lists a 2018-19 Rigoletto directed by Daniele Abbado.


  • The picture may say it all for those already in the know. But for those wallowing in ignorance, it doesn’t say much.

    • Why the hyperbole?
      I dearly miss those days, but there were other great directors too, like Otto Schenk, who had done most or all the Met’s Wagner.

      • Very true, but despite Otto Schenk being an actor and enormously popular in German speaking countries — and probably more due to the inability of Americans to fully comprehend his Viennese manner — Franco Zeffirelli did rule the popular audience at the Met for decades. This is not to diminish the great accomplishments of others, but just to note that Franco captured the imaginations of a generation through his tremendous charisma, onstage and off.

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