Terry Gilliam’s production of The Damnation of Faust is about to open at the English National Opera – here are some of his comments about opera, Faust and directing opera:
“The operas I went to when I was younger were tedious, so I was never lured back.”
“People have been badgering me for years to do opera. I’ve always resisted, but they caught me at a low point in my life. I signed the piece of paper and now I’m damned.”
“Berlioz’s music in Faust is so surprising and brilliant; there’s humour in it, there’s beauty in it.”
“Who wants a foreigner, who is not part of the opera world, coming in and messing with their toys?”
“I don’t think this production is about the visuals, we don’t want to upstage the music. Actually I’m very musical — I play the banjo and I can tap my toes in the right tempo.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.