Monday, August 25, 2008

Why Fly?

Variety Magazine recently published this article about movies invading the opera world. The article makes reference to Paris Opera's recent premiere of The Fly (heading to Los Angeles Opera next month), Il Postino (also heading to our neighbors to the north) and Brokeback Mountain which will premiere at New York City Opera in the near future. This isn't the first time opera has looked to movies for inspiration and the article goes on to cite Dead Man Walking and A Wedding as other examples.

Personally I'm all for operatic adaptions to movies but I can't help wondering, why The Fly? Now I'm a big Cronenberg fan and loved Brundle-fly and his enzyme digesting vomit as much as the next kid on the block but I can't help but wonder; are we missing out on the classics? Where are the operas based on the films that have endured for generations?

Where is Citizen Kane? Casablanca? The Godfather? Gone With the Wind? Lawrence of Arabia? Seven Samurai? The Wizard of Oz?

I mean The Fly was a great movie (and might be a good opera -- I'll be seeing it myself in Los Angeles), Brokeback Mountain incredibly moving, Dead Man Walking shockingly poignant but I would not consider these movies classics.

Of course, if I had it my way I'd love to see the original Star Wars trilogy put to opera (OK, fine, see Wagner's The Ring), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and my personal favorite popcorn schlock film Night of the Living Dead (complete with a zombie chorus). But then I never promised I had good taste.

So, indulge me. What movies do you think would make a good addition to the operatic canon?



Sonette said...

Oh, I'm a sucker for classic Hollywood films. How about some early Hitchcock (or Daphne du Maurier, if you are coming from a literary angle)like, say, REBECCA? How fun would it be to cast and compose for the creepy Mrs. Danvers? No market for it you say? Well, maybe, but it has in recent years inspired a "prequel" in novel form, a musical(directed by acclaimed opera director Francesca Zambello) and a new film version featuring Ralph Fiennes, currently in the production stage. Opera could take this delicious little suspenseful drama even further. But perhaps we should all be a little less serious and look for a comedy...

Buttercup said...

"The Princess Bride"