An opera reimagines classic story about an Italian family on eve of WWII

Jan 26, 2022 403

BY: Andrew Silow-Carroll

The Guardian recently called Vittorio de Sica’s 1970 film “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” a “forgotten Italian masterpiece.” And yet, the lushly beautiful film, about a privileged Italian Jewish family on the eve of World War II, has long been on Jewish critics’ lists of best films about the Holocaust. Based on a novel by Giorgio Bassani, the film won Oscars in 1972 for best foreign feature and best adapted screenplay.

And now, composer Ricky Ian Gordon has composed a new opera based on Bassani’s novel. Also titled “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” the opera, presented by New York City Opera and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, opens on Jan. 27 at Edmond J. Safra Hall in the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Lower Manhattan. 

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