Opera Meets Film: Shostakovich Reimagined In Andrey Khrzhanovsky’s ‘The Nose’

Censorship. Repression. Scorn. Brutality. Humor. Absurdity. Hysteria. Russia’s relationship with self-expression has been a fraught one throughout its tumultuous history. Full of danger and hardship, with no guarantee that your vision will be seen, respected, or even tolerated unless it is confined to authorized narratives, music has always been that one art form whose voice is hard to control and {…}

Watch These Films Before Seeing the Metropolitan Opera’s ‘The Hours’ & ‘Rigoletto’

November at the Metropolitan Opera will showcase three new operas productions. Audiences will see “Don Carlo” starring tenor Russell Thomas, “Rigoletto,” and the world premiere production of “The Hours” starring Renee Fleming and Joyce DiDonato. In the third article of the series, we will look at two of those operas and their corresponding silver screen adaptations. The Hours  Modern operas {…}

Opera Meets Film: How Straub & Huillet’s ‘Moses und Aron’ Leaves Us to Our Own Interpretative Devices

Despite Arnold Schoenberg’s (1874-1951) widespread popularity as one of the most important ‘fathers of serialism’ and the person almost solely responsible for ushering in the age of dodecaphony (12-tone technique), his four operas are largely unknown. Despite this, it was Schoenberg’s fourth opera, “Moses und Aron,” which would transform opera forever. No longer constricted by the indulgent attitudes of Italian {…}

Opera Meets Film: How Andrzej Żuławski’s ‘Boris Godunov’ Shows Past as Prologue

In January 1989, the Polish film director Andrzej Żuławski released his film “Boris Godunov,” a film that cost seven million dollars to create. It featured a live production of the monster opera conducted by the eminent Soviet cellist and conductor, Mstislav Rostropovich. The film would re-conceptualize the opera in a mise en abyme (self-reflection) style, layering the operatic performance inside {…}

Opera Meets Film: How David Cronenberg & David Henry Hwang’s ‘M. Butterfly’ Subverts Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ & Explores Deceptive Reveries

What would you do, say, and believe for love, and most importantly, what would you ignore for the sake of love? Such standardized questions seem to permeate the fabric of the operatic world from time immemorial to the present, and the well is not showing signs of running dry anytime soon. But we must ask a second and more important {…}

Opera Meets Film: How Peter Weigl Explores Dvorak’s ‘Rusalka’ on Video

We all know Disney’s rendition of “The Little Mermaid,” and are familiar with its transformation of Hans Christian Anderson’s oft-disturbing 1837 fairy tale into a heartwarming, family-friendly story of love and adventure. The original narrative is far more Wagnerian than Mozartian in dramatic tenor, due to Anderson’s synthesis of intense pathos with virtuous rebirth. In the Disney version, Ariel—who is {…}