Sofia Coppola Tries Her Opera Hand at Giuseppe Verdi's 'La Traviata'

By Philip Trapp on Apr 22, 2016 05:55 PM EDT

American film director Sofia Coppola, creator of generational benchmarks like Lost in Translation and The Virgin Diaries, opens her debut opera in Italy next month. A staging of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, the Italian libretto will premiere at the Rome Opera House.

As we previously reported, the presentation is a collaboration with fashion designer Valentino, who will provide the costuming for the piece. The elite production team also includes stage designer Nathan Crowley, known for his work on blockbuster films The Dark Knight and Batman Begins.

Coppola, daughter of revered filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and wife to French musician Thomas Mars of alt-rock band Phoenix, has directed five critically acclaimed features. The artist got her start as a budding actor in her father's revered dramas, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

She eventually abandoned acting for the creative pursuits of screenwriting and directing, occasionally making artistic cameos like performing a rhythmic gymnastics routine in the video for the Chemical Brother's 1997 single, "Elektrobank," directed by then-husband Spike Jonze.

In a 2013 interview with The Telegraph, Coppola explained her desire to create films rather than act in them, citing her reticence to perform in front of the camera: 

"I never had any ambitions to be an actress. [...] It was something my dad asked me to do and I tried, but I am self-conscious in front of the camera. I'm glad I had the experience though, because now when I'm working with actors I know what it's like."

Fans and critics are eager to view the director's first work of opera. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, Coppola elaborated on her inspirations for creating, mentioning a seminal Godard tome as the catalyst behind her first feature film:

"I love watching movies. It's one of my greatest pleasures. Paradoxically, it wasn't a director or movie that led me to make my first feature, The Virgin Suicides, but a book. But many films and filmmakers have influenced me. I think the movie that struck me the most when I was a teenager was À Bout de Souffle (Breathless), by Jean-Luc Godard."

La Traviata will run for 15 performances from May 24 to June 30. 

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TagsSofia Coppola, La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi, Rome Opera House

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