Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey by Lotfi Mansouri

By Lotfi Mansouri

Lotfi Mansouri has lived a whole lifestyles in opera: triumphs and close to failures, divas and divos, moneymen and actual artists, he has identified all of them. during this exciting and interesting memoir, Mansouri lifts the curtain and invitations the reader to work out how magic is created on degree. He has lived a storied existence: early years in Iran, movement to the US, lengthy remains in Europe and Canada, directing initiatives on a number of continents, and a super ultimate act because the normal director of the San Francisco Opera, the entire whereas carrying on with to mount productions around the world. He has identified nearly each person within the opera global during the last fifty years, and has collaborated with a few of the maximum. Mansouri used to be additionally a critical determine within the contemporary rejuvenation of opera via thoughts corresponding to supertitles and, possibly extra vital, the staging and commissioning of latest works that may entice a modern viewers, reminiscent of SFO’s construction of The loss of life of Klinghoffer, A Streetcar Named hope, and useless guy jogging. Mansouri isn’t shy approximately shedding names and bruising a few egos (even his own). someone who desires to understand what the opera global is admittedly like can now discover within the corporation of an enthralling and specialist consultant.

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Meanwhile, Ray Aghayan and I had been taking English lessons from an Armenian woman and dreaming of California. The thistles of Scotland held no appeal for us. I began to make my case for stateside studies, but my father’s enthusiasm knew bounds. He had no respect for American education, which he believed was vapid and insubstantial. He held a very low opinion of American culture in general and saw no point in my wasting my time in it or being corrupted by its superficiality. The points of attraction I found so desirable were utterly lost on him, but I finally won out because my mother pleaded my case.

In that scene, Sieglinde tells Siegmund about a mysterious visitor, actually their father, Wotan, who had once plunged a sword into a tree in the middle of the room. indb 40 lotfi ma n s ou r i 17 March 2010 4:29:09 PM ily removes the sword, thus proving his status as an authentic hero. In our performance, I must have tugged a bit too enthusiastically, or else the sword was too firmly embedded in the trunk. In any event, instead of drawing out the mighty blade, I found myself hoisting the entire tree on high.

But I wasn’t really all that interested in meeting donkeys. I wanted to meet Americans, and, of all people, it was the Russians who were about to make the introductions. After the Allies had sent the abdicated Reza Shah into exile and catapulted his son to the Peacock Throne, they sent troops to occupy the country, to make sure the younger Pahlavi wouldn’t get into the same kind of mischief his father had. They also used the German-built railroad to shuttle supplies to the Russians to hold off the German invaders in Stalingrad in a move that marked the beginning of the end for the Nazis.

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