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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Film-maker Allen to direct opera
Woody Allen
Allen's forthcoming film, Cassandra's Dream, is realeased later this year
Film-maker Woody Allen is to take a break from life behind the camera to direct an opera in Los Angeles.

Allen will direct Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, part of a trilogy of one-act operas known as Il Trittico.

"I have no idea what I am doing," said Allen, who was persuaded to take part by Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, general director of Los Angeles Opera.

"But incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm," added the 71-year-old Oscar winner.

Domingo, who first spoke to Allen about making his operatic debut some four years ago, said he was delighted.

"I've seduced many a film director into directing opera," said Domingo. "I will admit that my pursuit of Woody takes the prize of the longest."

Gianni Schicchi is Il Trittico's third, and arguably most popular, act.

The other two acts, Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica, will be directed by William Friedkin, best known for 1970s film classics The Exorcist and The French Connection.

The production will open the Los Angeles opera season in September 2008.

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