Garden of Finzi-Continis at City Opera-NYTF Is Too Much of a Good Thing

Feb 01, 2022 201

BY: Richard Sasanow

Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie, whose new opera, THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS, for New York City Opera and National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene, weren't the only ones to be inspired by the famed 1962 novel IL GIARDINO DEI FINZI CONTINI by Italian Giorgio Bassani. The film version, by Vittorio De Sica, won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1970, running half the time of the opera. Still, it is the novel that excited them all.

Unfortunately, for Gordon and Korie, this meant not only culling the most important parts of Bassani's story to make room for Gordon's varied, often inspired, score, but also giving us details about the characters to make them accessible to us. This would have been much easier on film, where the camera could come in close to see the reactions of the players in the story.

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