March is Zeffirelli month in New York!
My great friend, the genius, the Rembrandt of the stage, comes to New York for a splendid week of celebration. Barnes and Noble on 68th will have three weeks before the arrival every window displaying his great art, be it books, or architectural drawings of his immense and accurate sets, costumes, fotos, and every known kind of stage and film “bon bon”. Fresh off last years enormous success at La Scala with a mammoth and vivid Aida, and Tosca in Roma, this amazing man of so much opera history will be feted by the Metropolitan Opera in their annual luncheon.
At the Barnes and Noble book signing you have the chance to meet Franco, and I have the honor of singing a few duets and arias in a little mini concert at his request. Marcello Giordani will be with me, which is supernova time. I will also be signing records and fotos as well, and if he is able, so will Mr. Giordani who is extending this kindness to Franco even while under a huge schedule of rehearsals at the Metropolitan Opera for the upcoming Ernani of Verdi in which his magnificent voice is the leading star. His respect and admiration for our countryman is inspiring him.
This was all the brainstorm of the fabulous Princess Verne of Rajpipla. A fascinating woman of charm beyond measure who has known the likes of Tennessee Williams, Noel Coward, Warren Beatty, practically all of the best of New York and boasting being a member of the historic House of the Plantagenet. Her passport photo was taken by non other than Francesco Scavullo…… In short, she really knows how to do things.
It will feel like Italy in New York. Then on the 29th at a special performance of La Boheme at the Metropolitan they will give a celebration for Franco. It is his productions that saved the Metropolitan Opera a few years back. Authentic and respectful of the history of the composers and the libretti and very fabulous to the singers, among the greatest of the last century and this. They are large and beautiful and deserve a lasting place in the productions of the Met. God bless him. If you are anywhere near New York, on the 28th, at 7:00 come by and get to shake the hand of a giant of the world of opera and film and prose.
Below is a little Zeffirelli magic, talking about the different approach he had to Tosca and how Maria Callas gave muse to that thought.