Let’s Go To The Opera…At The Movies?

November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

If you could go to the opera for the exact same price as seeing James Cameron’s Avatar, would you? I know I would, but I have a bias. Stephan Evans, a British movie producer, is trying to turn opera into a cinematic works. Before you say anything, this is different from the live broadcasts the Metropolitan Opera and other large opera companies are doing or the DVD recordings of Met productions. Evans is adapting Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comedic opera Cosí fan tutte into a film called First Night. From my understanding, it is similar to a play within a play as there will be an additional plot surrounding the original plot of Cosí.

Evans has a history of adapting older theatrical works into cinematic pieces. Twenty years ago he produced Shakespeare’s Henry V, beating the odds the skeptics bet against him. Actually, the film was nominated for two Oscars, and it’s still making money! Take that, skeptics! In addition to Henry V, he has also produced film adaptations of Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing.

Evans’ plan for First Night is to produce a romantic comedy with a Mozart soundtrack. I’m interested to see how this turns out. According to The Observer article, a wealthy businessman who assembles a troupe of singers to put on a production of Cosí fan tutte in his home. The recently finished film was shown with much success at a test screening a couple weeks ago.

The consumer enthusiasm hasn’t stopped some of the industry’s largest giants from voicing their concerns. They’re leery about this film because it’s about opera. However, Evans doesn’t think it’s going to be a problem. He was quoted to say, “People who didn’t know opera were more excited than the people who did. The music is so wonderful, so lyrical. People uninterested in opera found themselves loving the music.”

So will this inspire people to go to their local opera company and purchase tickets? I cannot say whether it will or not, but I’m glad the opera industry now has another vehicle in which to reach potential audiences. Viva l’opera!

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