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Subject: Opera in Films
From: Ron Magnuson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ron Magnuson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:53:24 -0400

text/plain (35 lines)

I just rented a DVD from Netflix of a charming French film from 2007 directed by Bertrand Blier entitled, Combien tu m’aime (How much do you love me).
It stars Bernard Campan as an average, middle aged bloke who falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful prostitute played by Monaca Bellucci.
The first time that he talks to her, he tells her that he has just won the lottery and will pay her an exorbitant amount of money if she will live with him.
The film deals with the effects of this proposal on the rest of his life in a captivating, amusing manner that is enhanced by a prodigious amount of operatic music that is used skillfully in the most opportune moments to heighten the effect of the emotion being depicted in the scene.  Somebody knows their opera very well.  To whit:

Tu sciagurato!, Oh sole ti vela di tenebra fonda from Pirata with Caballé, Marti, Cappuccillo, Raimondo on EMI
Madre pietosa vergine, Io muoio, Confessione from Forza with Domingo, Freni, Muti 1996 on EMI
Dell’invito trascorso e gia, Ah dite alla giovane from Traviata with Cortrubus, MIlnes on Deutsche Grammaphon 1977
L’estate from I vesperi with Studer, Merritt Muti on EMI 1994
Finale ultimo-Madre, non dormi from Travatore with Licitra, Frittoli, Muti on sony 2001
O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi with Leontyne Price Sony 1969
Juravit Dominos from Dixit Dominos of Vivaldi Eratoclassics 1979
Zitti! L’incanto non desse turbare, Forse la soglia attinse from Ballo with Price, Bergonzi on sony 1972
La battaglia di Legnano, fra queste dense tenebre Campioni della morte with Carreras Phillips 1978
Toi que sur le néant des grandeur from Don Carlos with Alagna, Van Dam on EMI 1996
Vanne, ei li cela entrambi, Due figli uccido? from Norma with Gruberova on Nightengale Classics 2005
Ancora un passo from Butterfly with Maria Chiara on Sony 1973
Mario Cavaroossi? A voi from Tosca with Miricioiu, Lamberti on BMG 1990

Evidently Blier understood the context of these pieces in the operas from which they were selected and employed them in the corresponding events of the film quite well. I recommend the film to you for your consideration and I am quite certain, your enjoyment.

Ron Magnuson

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