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Thalia Book Club Camp offers up-close interaction with renowned children's book authors and illustrators, book discussions, and book-related field trips around the city. This blog follows the camp's activities.

Directing “La Boheme” for the screen

Published on September 22, 2009

Just before I was asked to direct Boheme for film, my cousin, the director of the Vienna state opera asked me to direct my first on stage production of Boris Godunov.  I wanted to, but was also intimidated by this task.  I’m a filmmaker with a strong documentary background.  Our mediums don’t mix too well.  I’m searching for realism and authenticity.  I’m also used to correcting mistakes and ask for as many takes of a scene as necessary.  I’m also of the school of “less is more” as far as facial expressions are concerned.  This, of course, is not necessarily the best prerequisite to direct opera.  Once I met Anna and Rolando I realized that both are far more versatile than just performing on stage.  They understood the intimacy of the camera very quickly and the strength of a close up.  Unlike movie stars who watch their performance after each take to be reassured about their good looks, Anna and Rolando where able to view objectively and without vanity.  The collaboration with them was joyous and playful.  Anna was in her third month of pregnancy while she played the dying Mimi.

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