Oscar-winning director’s staging of “The Tales of Hoffmann” sells out in Austria.
VIENNA– Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi agreed on little but their unshakeable belief that opera is the expressive sum of all the dramatic arts. Perhaps that’s why, at a certain point in their careers, successful masters and mistresses of other creative endeavors — stage, art, architecture, fashion and, more recently, film — feel the irresistible pull of what Wagner called, “the total work of art.”
Oscar-winning director William Friedkin is one of the Hollywood artists who, in recent years, has devoted an increasing amount of his creative time to opera. His production of Richard Strauss’ Salome was a sensation during the Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2006 season in Munich and, this week, he made his Viennese debut with a magisterial version of Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann at the Theater an der Wien (The New Opera House.)