Woody Allen to direct Puccini opera

June 21, 2007 at 9:46 PM

LOS ANGELES, June 21 (UPI) -- Actor-director Woody Allen will make his operatic directorial debut in September 2008, directing Giacomo Puccini's lone comedy for the Los Angeles Opera.

The production of "Gianni Schicchi" will be part of a trio Puccini operas, collectively "Il Trittico," to be presented, Variety reported Thursday. The other two, "Il Tabarro" and "Suor Angelica," will be directed by William Friedkin.

Placido Domingo, general director of Los Angeles Opera, said he had approached Allen on the project about four years ago.

"I've seduced many a film director into directing opera, starting with John Schlesinger and 'The Tales of Hoffmann' (in London)," Domingo said in a statement. "I will admit that my pursuit of Woody takes the prize of the longest pursuit."

"I have no idea what I am doing," said Allen in a statement, "but incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."

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