Opera is regarded as one of the key artistic movements in the history of culture, with many elegantly dressed upper class rich folk visiting various theaters around the world so that they can be amazed. Cinema has often looked to bridge this gap and bring Opera over to the big screen. Here are six opera movies that will make you love the theater.
Verdi's epic was released in 1983 and directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and it is often lauded as the greatest opera movie of all time. Domingo and Stratas sing wonderfully, and the lavish settings, mise-en-scene and costumes elevate the film to the point where you think that they are just showing off. The story of the piece is timeless and you can't help but be enchanted by the wonderful noise emanating throughout.
Joseph Losey's 1979 opera masterpiece is based on Mozart's work and is magnificent evidence of the power that opera can hold. The film stars Ruggerio Raimndi, Jose Van Dam, Kiri Te Kanawa and Kenneth Riegel, and all elegantly sing and parade themselves through one of Mozart's most loved pieces. It is stunningly atmospheric and well worth your time.
"The Magic Flute".
Ingmar Bergman is regarded as one of the greatest and most artistically enlightening directors of all time, and he even took a swing at directing an opera piece, the crazy bastard. Bergman manipulates both time and space and elevates the narrative to make it highly theatrical. Bergman also examines some of the darkest aspects of Mozart's masterpiece.
Bizet's "Carmen" is wonderfully direct by Franceso Rosi, and the stroke-inducing beauty of Julia Migenes is utterly compelling throughout. Migenes is a tremendous singer, and the legendary Placido Domingo as Don Jose is a fantastic addition. It is one of the most popular operas ever produced, and there are many reasons for its success.
Frederic Mitterand's production of "Madama Butterfly" is able to show off the true power that opera can possess on celluloid. It expands the horizons of the theatrical piece, and it is filled with wonderfully attractive actors and actresses whose voices are as stunning as their beauty. The Japanese decor and early 19th century costumes add to it's appeal, making it well worth your time.
Zeffirelli's 1965 production of Puccini's epically popular opera is one of the most celebrated opera films of all time. Cafe Momus, where most of the film takes place, is made to look like a utopia, and the romantic tragedy is orchestrated by Herbert von Karajan. Wonderful, loud and compelling.