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Commentary

Franco Zeffirelli (Photo ©: Caroline P. Digonis)
02 Jun 2008

A Tribute to Franco Zeffirelli

Among the tributes that came to the legendary Producer, Designer and Director Franco Zeffirelli, in the remaining days of this past March, a little gem of a celebration was held at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes and Noble bookstore, on the evening of March 28th.

A Tribute to Franco Zeffirelli

Above: Franco Zeffirelli
Photo © Caroline P. Digonis

 

The event, which was free to the public, included an up-close interview with Franco Zeffirelli, performances from his Metropolitan Opera colleagues, and a signing of a limited edition of a hagiographical book about his Met productions as well as other vast memorabilia that documents the career of the award-winning producer and director of opera, theatre, film and television.

Digonis_6867sm.jpg
Franco Zeffirelli interviewed by Ira Siff

Franco Zeffirelli entered the reception to a standing ovation from his fans, friends, and colleagues. Among audience attendees was the former General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, Joseph Volpe, who had a long, successful collaboration with Franco Zeffirelli, at the Met. The press coverage was vast and extended to the Italian news media. Independent film Director Abel Ferrara had his film crew cover the entire event for a documentary he is shooting on Franco Zeffirelli. Then the fabulous voices of the Metropolitan Opera house came, both old and new. Aprile Millo was the gracious hostess and a longtime friend of Franco Zeffirelli, with whom she had many memorable performances with at the Metropolitan Opera house.

Digonis_6873sm.jpgMarcello Giordani performing Nessun Dorma from Turandot.

Marcello Giordani performed the aria Nessun Dorma magnificently, dedicated to both Franco Zeffirelli and to the late Luciano Pavarotti. Later, Marcello Giordani joined Aprile Millo for the love duet from Act I of Tosca. Their voices were golden and clearly gave flight to Franco Zeffirelli’s visions of opera. Baritone Mark Delavan performed as well to the delight of the audience. The performances were followed by an interview with Ira Siff. Franco Zeffirelli, as he settled into the sage green chair that awaited him, spoke fondly of intriguing memories and kept the audience captivated in the style of all Zeffirelli productions.

Diane Malone © 2008

All photos: © Caroline P. Digonis 2008.

[Reprinted by permission of the author from Metroway — The Online Guide to Everything New York.]

franco zeffirelliAprile Millo and Marcello Giordani performing from Tosca.

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