Alas, Gentle Readers, I am on enforced opera-hiatus due to a bronchial malaise of some sort. I refuse to contribute to opera-house coughing, and it seems counterproductive to tire myself out when I wouldn't be able to really appreciate the evening, anyway. So I have, of course, been forced to get my opera fix elsewhere. M. Owen Lee's Opera Quiz Book, in addition to providing hours of innocent intellectual enjoyment, also provided inspiration for sharing some tidbits with you, Gentle Readers, and inviting reciprocation. Among Fr. Lee's erudite quizzes are three on "I Heard It At The Movies," a compilation of cinematic moments made more memorable by opera.
Some of my favorite "opera moments" in film sadly aren't on YouTube; these include Professor Bhaer taking Jo to watch Les Pecheurs de Perles from the wings in Little Women, and a thrilling use of "Anges Purs" in Grand Illusion, a film about the excellence of which I could happily wax verbose. Another opera moment I love is at the bizarre conclusion of Cet Obscur Objet du Désir: just when you thought a Luis Bunuel film involving an impassive butler, a dwarf psychologist, unexplained acts of terrorism, domestic violence, and nude flamenco dancing couldn't mess with your head any more, the radio announcer puts on James King and Leonie Rysanek in Act I of Die Walküre. If any of you have any theories about what that is supposed to mean, I do invite--nay, implore--you to share them. Meanwhile, a few other opera moments:
The Danny Kaye vehicle Wonder Man includes a wild parody which takes all sorts of liberties and plays stereotypes about opera performances and performers to the hilt. The "Miserere" from Trovatore makes a surprise appearance, but without its proper words. I... I still actually think this is hilarious.
If you can stand it, it goes on here, with the prompter's despair becoming ever more marked.
From the ridiculous to the sublime: the lovely Danish film Babette's Feast where the emotional complexities of a developing relationship are suggested primarily by the selections chosen for music lessons. I love this; the entire film is achingly beautiful:
And that is all for now, Gentle Readers, barring a shameless plea for you to share your favorite opera moments from film in the comments section.