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Arts and Entertainment

Classical Pick of the Week: Three Operas, Two Award-Winning Directors, all in One Night

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Woody Allen (Vicky Cristy Barcelona, Manhattan, Annie Hall) and William Friedkin (the Exorcist, the French Connection) collaborate with the Los Angeles to bring you their vision of Giacomo Puccini's Il Trittico. Il Trittico is made up of three one-act operas, "Il Tabarro", "Suor Angelica", and "Gianni Schicchi". James Conlon conducts the orchestra and Tony-award winning Santo Loquasto will design the set. "Il Tabarro" is about a tragic love triangle, filled with dark and violent undertones. "Sour Angelica" is a story of redemption and contains some of Puccini's best known melodies. This opera was considered his favorite, and is actually the least performed of the three. The most popular is the third act, which is based off of Dante's "the Divine Comedy". This comedic opera involves the story of a family obsessed with the death of a family member, and how they try to extort some money since he has donated all of it to the nearby monastery. This includes the famous aria "O Mio Babbino Caro," which shows up all over the place, whether it's in a Mr. Bean movie, a Charlie Brown special, or a Grand Theft Auto III trailer. Although all three operas sound distinct in their own way, the themes of death and realism tie each of them together. This is Woody Allen's first foray into operatic directing, although he has been friends with Domingo for over 20 years, with talks of a "La Boheme" film.

This is considered to be the first major performance of all three since the premiere at the Met 90 years ago. The running time is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes, with pre-performance lectures an hour before each show. All three operas are in Italian with English subtitles. Upcoming performances take place September 14th, 17th, 21st, 23rd, and the 26th at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. Tickets cost anywhere from 20 to 230 dollars.
LA Opera presents Puccini's Il Trittico
September, 2008, various dates/times
Dorothy Chandler Pavillion