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May 20, 2016 2:35 PM

Sofia Coppola tries her hand at opera in Rome

The Associated Press

ROME (AP) Oscar-winning film director Sofia Coppola is taking a break from movies to direct a new production of Verdi's "La Traviata" at the Rome Opera House.

Coppola will work alongside fashion designer Valentino who is doing the costumes.

She told reporters Friday that Valentino's invitation to work in opera was "scary" and "very unfamiliar" for her, but that she was motivated by the opportunity to work in the Rome Opera House "with the very beautiful costumes."

Valentino designed four costumes for the production, worn by the courtesan protagonist who has a troubled love story. The designer said that the Verdi masterpiece "has bewitched me since I was a boy for its music, the story, Verdi's score and the positioning of the actors on the stage."

"La Traviata" premieres May 24.

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