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Heard the NPR obit earlier today -- talked about the voluptuous nature of most of his productions.  I remember when the R+J premiered -- all the young women at my junior high school rushed to see it, and were totally bowled over.

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The guy never saw a tassel he didn't like, that's for sure. But he loved performers as much as he did scenery. Quite a career, and quite a life, even if his politics were....iffy at best.

The Old Vic "Romeo and Juliet" with John Stride and Judi Dench was a real thunderbolt - Kenneth Tynan said, or quoted someone as saying, that young directors all over London were grinding their teeth and wondering why they hadn't thought of it. But Zeffirelli did. I can't say I took anything like that away from the movie, unfortunately. If I had to choose between seeing it or the Taylor-Burton Shrew I might well opt for the latter.

I wish I had been there for the Dallas Traviatas with Callas, and the '59 Lucia with Sutherland.

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His Tosca production at Covent Garden with Callas was the stuff of legends and they kept that production for decades.  Strangely enough I was watching Tosca at ROH last night and a friend told me in the interval that Zeffirelli  had died.  There was a time a curtain announcement would have been made and the performance dedicated to his memory, but those days are long gone in London now.

 

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9 hours ago, Mashinka said:

His Tosca production at Covent Garden with Callas was the stuff of legends and they kept that production for decades.  Strangely enough I was watching Tosca at ROH last night and a friend told me in the interval that Zeffirelli  had died.  There was a time a curtain announcement would have been made and the performance dedicated to his memory, but those days are long gone in London now.

 

I’m sorry to hear that.

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

"mouthpiece for the corruption of the Catholic Church"---where is evidence of that in your references?  His abortion views are not mine but there appears to be a basis for them from his life experiences.  His married mother was pregnant  with another man's child and came close to abortion--and as a young man he came close to being shot by a Nazi death squad-----perhaps these close calls gave him a special reverence for life.

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https://www.thelocal.it/20180112/franco-zeffirelli-accused-sexual-assault

He was also accused of sexual assault.

He also defended his own molestation by a priest in this interview:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/nov/25/italy.classicalmusic

Quote

As reported earlier this week, Zeffirelli's new autobiography recounts an early sexual experience, with a priest. With such widespread international concern over abuse by paedophile clerics, this has inevitably been reported in terms of molestation. But anyone who thinks Zeffirelli is offering his support to the cause of those whose lives have been blighted by predatory adults will have to think again. He says he was deeply unhappy - "furious", in fact - about the way the incident had been recounted as if he were critical of the priest.

He was a horrible vile person. The end.

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Being accused of sexual assault isn't the same as being convicted of sexual assault.  I hate to break this to you but molestation of children is universal.  Frederick Ashton was molested by his elder brothers but bore no grudge, Do you consider him vile too?

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18 minutes ago, Mashinka said:

Being accused of sexual assault isn't the same as being convicted of sexual assault.  I hate to break this to you but molestation of children is universal.  Frederick Ashton was molested by his elder brothers but bore no grudge, Do you consider him vile too?

I don't consider people who are molested vile. I consider people who defend child molestation as vile.

p.s. I had to terminate a pregnancy. No I'm not ashamed of it. He would have wanted me executed. He's a horrible person.

Edited by canbelto
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And I was illegitimate, the product of a brief fling by my unmarried mother who put me up for adoption the minute I was born.  I don't share Zefferelli's views on abortion because I believe nothing is worse than bringing an unwanted child into the world, however I can understand how growing up in ultra religious, conservative Italy would have coloured his views.

We have just commemorated the anniversary of D Day and honoured the memory of those that fought.  Zefferelli put his life on the line fighting with the resistance, for that alone I believe he deserves our respect.

 

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