Exorcist director gets operatic in Vienna

Film director William Friedkin, best-known for movies The Exorcist and The French Connection, has launched a lavish opera in the Austrian capital.

Appropriately enough, the production has more than a dash of the macabre.

Indeed, Friedkin has resurrected Jacques Offenbach's unfinished masterpiece The Tales of Hoffmann, based on the fables of E.T.A Hoffmann.

The ultimate idea of this opera is the struggle of a man over his own nature, Friedkin told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that the things that destroy us are within ourselves.

The director worked with acclaimed set designer Michael Curry, noted for his work on Cirque de Soleil and The Lion King, for his foray into Hoffmann's world.

Composer Jacques Offenbach died on October 5, 1880, just four months before the premiere of the opera.

His work was not entirely finished, and as a result, various versions have been staged over the years.

Friedkin was given advice by Michael Kaye, the pre-eminent scholar of Offenbach's work, as to which directions to take with the production.

The Tales of Hoffmann can be enjoyed at the Theater an der Wien until April 2nd, and it will return in July with a new cast.


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