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Terry Gilliam to Direct Faust Opera


The English National Opera, the same company that will host Nico Muhly’s forthcoming opera based on an Internet murder plot, have recruited Monty Python director/artist/madman Terry Gilliam for a new opera based on Hector Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, the Guardian reports (via Vulture). Though I must confess that I’ve yet to delve into opera much, ENO music director Edward Gardner is doing wonders to remedy my mild aversion to the genre by bringing names like Muhly, Gilliam, and Anthony Minghella into the fold.

“You have to create a world for The Damnation of Faust, and that is something Gilliam is incredibly brilliant at doing – if not several worlds at once,” Gardner said of the disaster-prone director, who, in addition to his inimitable work with Python, directed Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil, and the late Heather Ledger’s final film.

So how does one recruit a guy like Gilliam for such an ambitious project? “I crept up on [Gilliam],” Gardner said, “so that he eventually found himself in a situation where he was committed.”