Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) to direct Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust for English National Opera next Summer

from Charlotte Higgins - Guardian

While Terry Gilliam has written and directed numerous films, this will be his first foray into directing opera. Known for writing and directing bizarre, off the wall films like Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen as well as being a major influence/writer for the more infamous sketches for Monty Python (including writer of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. His unique flavor should bring a fresh take on the Faust story.

Artistic Director for ENO John Berry is aware of the risks newcomers bring to an opera production. "It can be like a car crash coming at you from every angle." This doesn't even take into account all the problems in previous productions of Terry Gilliam, such as the Heath Ledger dieing midway through filming of The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus or Jean Rochefort suffering a herniated disc in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote halting production.

However, Edward Gardner, ENO's music director, who will conduct the Berlioz said, "You have to create a world for The Damnation of Faust, and that is something Gilliam is incredibly brilliant at doing – if not several worlds at once. He's got a real grip on what needs to be done. I can't wait to tap into his crazy world and artistry."

The production will take the stage in May 2010.


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