News Archive - 2005

Metropolitan Opera presents World Premiere of Zambello-directed
"An American Tragedy"
What the Press is Saying

"An American Tragedy...would not be out of place in a Broadway theater, the opera is accomplished, dramatically effective and thoroughly professional...The production by the director Francesca Zambello could not be more gripping. Ms. Zambello has choreographed the staging so that scenes flow, merge and shift hauntingly. As always, she elicits detailed and believable portrayals from the cast..."

— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"Francesca Zambello's production is as fluid as the score. Working on Adrianne Lobel's three-level set with elegant movable panels stunningly lighted by James F. Ingalls, Zambello cleverly creates a sense of drama gracefully taking place in many arenas."

— Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

"Francesca Zambello staged the opera with fine cinematic sweep...The seamless parade of imagery was inseparable from the fluid arc of Zambello's direction."

— John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"Francesca Zambello's direction is ideal — simple and direct, with formalities clear between and within the classes, and movements natural and sincere, with no posturing."

— Robert Levine, Classics Today

"Francesca Zambello provided psychologically acute direction; her work with Clyde's wealthy relations, who were played by Jennifer Larmore, Kim Begley, William Burden, and Jennifer Aylmer, brought out much funny, telling social detail."

— Alex Ross, The New Yorker

"This production is the responsibility of Francesca Zambello, and it is a characteristically smart, persuasive production."

— Jay Nordlinger, The New York Sun


Jazz fantasy a new stage for director — Zambello to helm first feature 'Pie'

Leading opera director Francesca Zambello is set to helm her first feature, "The Legend of Pork Pie," a musical fantasy from indie producer Daniel Bigel's recently established L.A. production company.

Penned by Michael Genet (Spike Lee's "She Hate Me"), the mythical jazz fable concerns a young man's search for his father, which leads him to legendary jazz club the Pork Pie Hat Bar. Bigel said he will seek a domestic studio partner for "Pork" once a cast is on board. Film's budget is $25 million.

Last fall, Bigel ("Empire," "Black and White") ankled the Bigel/Mailer shingle in Gotham to launch Bigel Entertainment in Los Angeles. A private equity fund is supplying coin to his new banner, which aims to produce three pics annually.

Among the projects at Bigel Entertainment is a bigscreen adaptation of Elizabeth Berg's bestselling novel "Never Change," with Sharon Stone set to make her directing debut. Roger Wilson ("Missing in America") penned the screenplay.

Zambello is directing "Porgy and Bess" for the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center this fall.

— by Pamela McClintock, for Variety


Plácido Domingo in Met's Cyrano; Francesca Zambello Directs

Celebrated tenor Plácido Domingo stars in the Metropolitan Opera's North American premiere of Franco Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac, on May 13, 17, and 20 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Marco Armiliato conducts with Sondra Radvanovsky, Plácido Domingo, Raymond Very, Anthony Michaels-Moore, and Roberto de Candia. Francesca Zambello directs, and the libretto is by Henri Cain.


Zambello to Direct World Premiere Picker Opera at Met

The world premiere of Tobias Picker's opera, An American Tragedy, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and based on the 1925 novel of the same name by American writer Theodore Dreiser, is on December 2, 2005 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The libretto is by Gene Scheer. James Conlon conducts, with Patricia Racette as Roberta Alden, Susan Graham as Sondra Finchley, and Nathan Gunn as Clyde Griffeths. The cast also includes Dolora Zajick as Elvira Griffeths, Jennifer Larmore as Elizabeth Griffeths, Kim Begley as Samuel Griffeths, William Burden as Gilbert Griffeths, and Richard Bernstein as Orville Mason. Francesca Zambello directs, with sets designed by Adrianne Lobel in her Met debut, costumes designed by Dunya Ramicova, lighting designed by James F. Ingalls, and choreography by Doug Varone. Additional performances are on December 5, 8, 12, 16, 21, 24, and 28. For more information, visit composer Tobias Picker's website.


Zambello to Direct Ring Cycle for Washington National Opera's 50th Season

Washington National Opera's golden anniversary season, which runs September 17, 2005 through June 3, 2006 at the Kennedy Center Opera House, will feature seven productions including Gerswhin's Porgy and Bess, and the beginning of the company's first Ring cycle, both of which will be directed by acclaimed international director Francesca Zambello.

 

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