by Gaetano Donizetti,
dir Mike Figgis, ENO
Not every film director takes easily to the operatic stage. At English National Opera, Anthony Minghella created a hugely powerful Madam Butterfly but Sally Potter’s Carmen was a case of “nice video, shame about the drama.” But, as opera stretches action and time beyond naturalism and Mike Figgis played similar games with split-screens in his experimental film Timecode, his transition into the melodramatic world of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia looks set to be unusually smooth.
Figgis is no stranger to music, having started out playing keyboards in an R&B band which featured the then-unknown vocalist Bryan Ferry. And since writing the jazz score for his 1988 feature debut Stormy Monday, Figgis’s name has regularly been on the music credits of his films.