"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
"When the Metropolitan Opera wanted me to do an opera, I spent a long time trying to find one that seemed appropriate. They suggested Shostakovich. I said yes to Shostakovich, but that the first prize for me would be his opera, The Nose."