The Lion King Director Headed Back to New York with New "Grendel" Opera

News   The Lion King Director Headed Back to New York with New "Grendel" Opera Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor is developing an original opera, "Grendel," with longtime collaborator composer Elliot Goldenthal, which is aiming for New York in 2006.
Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal.
Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The new work, based on the Beowulf epic, is slated to debut at the Los Angeles Opera and then play at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2006. "Grendel" will reportedly take a look at the classic story from the monster's point of view. Taymor made history in 1998 as the first female director to earn the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for her staging of The Lion King — albeit mere moments after Garry Hynes became the first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction — for The Beauty Queen of Leenane. She also earned the Tony for Best Costume Design that night as well. The multi-genre director has lined her resume with Broadway credits (Juan Darien and The Green Bird), film work ("Titus" and "Frida") as well as opera productions ("Oedipus Rex" and the current Metropolitan Opera run of "The Magic Flute").

The work will reteam her with constant collaborator Goldenthal. The composer, himself a multi-faceted artist, has created works for orchestra, theatre, opera, ballet and film. He has worked with Taymor on "Titus," "Frida," Juan Darien and The Green Bird. His other film scores include "The Good Thief," "Batman and Robin," "Batman Forever," "Michael Collins," "A Time to Kill," "Cobb" and "Interview with the Vampire."

The Los Angeles Opera — which recently presented the New York City Opera staging of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music — last saw Taymor's work in the 1995-96 season with the director's staging of Richard Wagner's "Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman)."

For more information on the Los Angeles Opera, visit the website at www.losangelesopera.com.

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