Wide World of Quotes > Franco Zeffirelli Quotes

Franco Zeffirelli
Italian director and producer of films and television, director and designer of operas, and former senator
(1923- )

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I have always believed that opera is a planet where the muses work together, join hands and celebrate all the arts.
-- International Herald Tribune (21March 1990)

The magic of a Callas is a quality few artists have, something special, something different. There are many very good artists, but very few who have that sixth sense, the additional, the plus quality. It is something which lifts them from the ground: they become like semi-gods. She had it. Nureyev has it, [Sir Laurence] Olivier. But Olivier is also a case of an extremely rich knowledge of everything. He is completely coherent in his life, onstage. Whatever he does is part of a complete personality. Maria is a common girl behind the wings, but when she goes onstage, or even when she talks about her work or begins to hum a tune, she immediately assumes this additional quality. For me, Maria is always a miracle. you cannot understand or explain her. You can explain everything Olivier does because it is all part of a professional genius. But Maria can switch from nothing to everything, from earth to heaven. What is it this woman has? I don't know, but when that miracle happens, she is a new soul, a new entity.
-- Quoted in Callas : The Art and the Life (1974) by John Ardoin

I must confess, from the bottom of my heart, my sadness and my discomfort to such a film devoid of any form of sentiment and values. In what society do we live? Why do you thus these films? Should be the heart of the matter. This is something that is deeply against humanity, society and the fundamental values of man and I think that in a case like this, total censorship is necessary. And as for me I will not see this movie because I already know what it is and I do not want to sully my eye.
-- Speaking about the film Toto Who Lived Twice (1998)

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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