Woody Allen branches out and blooms with Puccini opera


Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Woody Allen directed the Puccini romantic comedy of "Gianni Schicchi" for LA Opera, which opened this last weekend. The reviews of his first attempt at opera are glowing, smelling sweet even though Allan himself felt he was probably not the best choice for director.

Alan Rich, from Bloomberg writes: "With his biggest hit in years, ``Vicky Cristina Barcelona,'' in theaters now, Allen drew the crowds and if ``Gianni Schicchi'' came across at times like a signature Woody Allen farce-comedy -- recalling the glorious clutter of ``Bullets Over Broadway,'' say -- there was more than enough strength in Puccini's wonderful score to withstand the challenge."
Ronald Blum of the Associated Press said "More than most opera directors, Woody Allen pays attention to the small details that make a performance take off."
Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote "a production of genius."
Anne Midgette of the Washington Post was the most unfavorable with, "the biggest problem is that they are so in awe of the medium that they resort to stock "operatic" gestures and tropes they would never use in a film."

Well, it seems the weekend was not a complete loss for Opera in LA.

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