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Thread: Opera music in mainstream movies

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Default Opera music in mainstream movies

    I found this interesting list:

    http://listverse.com/2007/10/26/top-...era-in-movies/

    Too bad that some clips have been removed due to copyrights.

    I love the Lakmé segment in The Hunger.

    And the Lucia aria in The Fifth Element is beautiful.

    Still, the list doesn't include movies like Amadeus, Le Maître de Musique, or Farinelli.
    Last edited by Almaviva; Sep-21-2010 at 02:13.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Sonata's Avatar
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    Or the Shawshank Redemption. Although I didn't think about it consciously, I think that was part of what got me into listening to opera in the first place. It wasn't even that I looked up that particular piece (from Marriage of Figaro I believe?) But that scene in the movie kind of sat around in the back of my head and combined with a few other things that got me into listening.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    Or the Shawshank Redemption. Although I didn't think about it consciously, I think that was part of what got me into listening to opera in the first place. It wasn't even that I looked up that particular piece (from Marriage of Figaro I believe?) But that scene in the movie kind of sat around in the back of my head and combined with a few other things that got me into listening.
    I saw this movie years and years ago, and don't remember what aria was in it. Any details?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I saw this movie years and years ago, and don't remember what aria was in it. Any details?
    The Duettino between Susanna and the Contessa in Act 3. Better known as the "Sull'aria".

    Strangely, it isn't even one of the high points of the opera for me, and I love Le Nozze di Figaro to death (It's my favorite opera, and one of my favorite musical works overall).
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    The Duettino between Susanna and the Contessa in Act 3. Better known as the "Sull'aria".

    Strangely, it isn't even one of the high points of the opera for me, and I love Le Nozze di Figaro to death (It's my favorite opera, and one of my favorite musical works overall).
    It's not bad at all... Here in a rare occasion with a great soprano and a great mezzo together.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLtqZewjwgA

    Or here, even better:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFU74UeBgpo

    But you're right, this opera is so full of beautiful moments... It's like a long series of high points...
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Air's Avatar
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    Oh, no, I do like it very much, it's just that it's not my favorite part by a long shot. And yes I own the Janowitz/Mathis - heavenly.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    I'd have to agree....I like it, but it's not close to my favorite aria in general (With regards to Figaro-specific, I haven't listened through enough to know which parts are my favorites). But it was enough to be an impetus to get me into opera. Shawshank is one of my absolute favorites, and I loved the way they used the opera music in that scene. It was a very moving moment.

    Almaviva, I know you probably would have taken Andy to task for not reenacting Figaro in shadow puppets for the other prisoners, since opera needs to be seen and not just heard. I'm teasing...hope I didn't go too far?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    I'd have to agree....I like it, but it's not close to my favorite aria in general (With regards to Figaro-specific, I haven't listened through enough to know which parts are my favorites). But it was enough to be an impetus to get me into opera. Shawshank is one of my absolute favorites, and I loved the way they used the opera music in that scene. It was a very moving moment.

    Almaviva, I know you probably would have taken Andy to task for not reenacting Figaro in shadow puppets for the other prisoners, since opera needs to be seen and not just heard. I'm teasing...hope I didn't go too far?
    Hey, you know, that's how these guys end up in prison, they don't do anything right!

    As for Le Nozze di Figaro arias, try Non più andrai; Porgi Amor; and Voi che sapete, among many other exquisite moments.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Godfather? The Untouchables with Costner? Real Italian gangsta always has opera scene in such movies.

    Also "Lost Weekend", famous movie about alcoholism has a scene when the maich character goes to performance of Traviata and can't stand still at drinking scene in act I knowing that he left bottle of whiskey in his coat.

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    "I have no idea to this day what them two Italian ladies were singin' about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I like to think they were singin' about something so beautiful it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it." - Red (Morgan Freeman), in Shawshank Redemption

    The interesting thing is that, while poetic and all, they're really just singing about their plans to trick Almaviva, which seems to be a lot more mundane than what Red imagined. Nevertheless, the point of this music does go beyond the plot of libretto, no? That's such an awesome opera.

    Although set in the Amazonian rainforest, opera drives the whole plot of the excellent Werner Herzog film Fitzcarraldo.

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    Cavalleria's intermezzo in Raging Bull:


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    Couple others:



    -Ian

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    Babbete's Feast--not exactly mainstream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnaMendoza View Post


    Babbete's Feast--not exactly mainstream.
    By mainstream I meant non-operatic movies.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senso - Visconti


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