The city of Montpellier is also hosting Francis Ford Coppola Day
Acclaimed filmmaker Sofia Coppola is to direct her first opera, for The Montpellier Opera House in France.
Taking on Puccini’s romantic tragedy “Manon Lescaut”, Coppola will prepare the opera for Montpellier’s 2009/ 2010 season.
Puccini’s third opera “Manon Lescaut” consists of four acts based on “L’histoire du Chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut” by Abbé Prévost.
Coppola, whose film credits include couture costume drama Marie-Antoinette, and the Oscar-nominated Lost in Translation, will also have have her work cut out with lead tenor, the controversial Frenchman Robert Alagna.
Alagna- a frequent performer in the southern French city, and described as “the greatest tenor alive” by Montpellier Opera’s director Rene Koering; is set to star as Chevalier Des Grieux, the lover of the doomed title character.
However, last December, Alagna shocked the opera world when he stormed off the La Scala stage in the middle of a performance after he was booed by members of the audience.
As well as Coppola’s operatic production, Montpellier is planning a citywide celebration of her family’s cultural heritage in July 2008.
The festival curated by Koering will culminate with Francis Ford Coppola Day, during which the city orchestra will play music from the legendary director’s films “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”.
Artwork by Eleanor Coppola, Sofia’s mother, will also be on display at an exhibition at the new Musée Fabre in the city.
Pic credit: Rex Features