Director William (Billy) Friedkin and Al Gore will meet Tuesday (July 29) in San Francisco. This is not the first meeting on a new subject for Friedkin, a longtime supporter of Gore during his office-seeking-holding tenure. He has been announced as the director of the upcoming opera based on Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth” for Milan, May 11, 2011 celebrating the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification. And Milan’s bid to host a “green” Expo 2015, encouraged Gore to support the city’s involvement.
I, of course, was interested in learning about the transposition of Gore’s book and documentary based on it into an opera. Who would the lead characters be? What would the story line be, etc. etc? Would the music reflect the cracking of the polar ice, the roar of the oceans and storms? Friedkin, just back from a European tour with wife Sherry Lansing in Milan, Venice, Munich, etc., reminded me the libretto and music are not yet finalized. The libretto is being written by J.D.McClatchy, who heads Yale’s English department. Friedkin assured me, “the original story is not a lecture. It is non-traditional.” He insisted decisions on the singers’ roles are yet upcoming, And when I pursued by asking whether Al Gore would be one of the roles, Friedkin assured me, “You will not see (or hear) a tenor or a baritone being Al Gore!” Composer Giorgio Battistelli is writing the score. Friedkin, a seasoned opera director, bows the L.A. Opera’s season, Sept. 6, with with “Il Tabarro” and “Suor Angelica.”