From the Kennedy Center on Sunday to the Bavarian Opera House on Monday. I reached (by phone) Billy Friedkin, still savoring the success of his weekend direction of the operas "Bluebeard’s Castle" and "Gianni Schiacchi" in D.C., and he’s already started rehearsals in Munich for the Oct. 27 bow of "Salome."
It’s his first outing with Richard Strauss and before launching into his music, Friedkin quick-tripped to Strauss’ nearby birthplace. Readying the opera, he says, "is a six-days-a-week, 10-ayem-to-11 p.m. job."
Wife Sherry Lansing wings over from L.A. to join him this weekend. After the opera’s opening, they return to L.A. where he’ll ready for the bow of "Bug," the film he directed in nearby New Orleans during Katrina. It won the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and bows Dec.1. Then he’ll decide on his next film or opera.
I asked Friedkin whether wife Sherry would return to the Hollywood film scene? "Nothing would bring her back," he says positively. She is happily leading the road to a healthier nation via her activities with the Sherry Lansing Foundation.