One of Italy's great directors, Pier Luigi Pizzi, turns 80 today. His vision in all its great randomness shakes opera up -- although elegantly -- and he knows how to be minimal without being too conceptual (i.e. boring). We'll forever love Pizzi -- who owns an astonishing art collection -- for his clean white tennis treatment of Rossini's La Pietra del Paragone at Teatro Real (below).
He's been in Venice lately, where he's directing a new production of Britten's The Turn of the Screw for La Fenice, opening on June 25. On the occasion of his 80th birthday and new Britten production, Fondazione Amici della Fenice is releasing a volume dedicated to the director with anecdotes by past friends and collaborators: among them Alberto Arbasino, Riccardo Muti, Luca Ronconi, Marilyn Horne, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Teresa Berganza, Roberto Bolle, Giorgio Ferrara, Carlo Fontana, Carla Fracci, Raina Kabaivanska, Gabriele Lavia, Umberto Orsini, and Ruggero Raimondi.
The launch party (be there or be square) is on June 23 at Teatro La Fenice where Pizzi will be to welcome his friends.
After the jump, there's his Ponchielli La Gioconda with Voigt for Gran Teatre de Liceu: