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When Opera Meets Film


Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521895750

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About the Authors
  • Opera can reveal something fundamental about a film, and film can do the same for an opera, argues Marcia J. Citron. Structured by the categories of Style, Subjectivity, and Desire, this volume advances our understanding of the aesthetics of the opera/film encounter. Case studies of a diverse array of important repertoire including mainstream film, opera-film, and postmodernist pastiche are presented. Citron uses Werner Wolf's theory of intermediality to probe the roles of opera and film when they combine. The book also refines and expands film-music functions, and details the impact of an opera's musical style on the meaning of a film. Drawing on cinematic traditions of Hollywood, France, and Britain, the study explores Coppola's Godfather trilogy, Jewison's Moonstruck, Nichols's Closer, Chabrol's La Cérémonie, Schlesinger's Sunday, Bloody Sunday, Boyd's Aria, and Ponnelle's opera-films.

    • The book is clearly structured around case studies, so that the reader encounters real examples rather than just theories
    • Focuses on important film literature, expanding the interpretive repertoire of opera and film, allowing the reader to better understand the workings of important and familiar films
    • Critical theory is applied with a light touch, so that the reader does not have to go through overly complex ideas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Citron provides a fascinating, detailed study of the interrelationship between opera and film across several specific films and a number of the opera/films of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle … This book will make readers want to view the films in question to consider the issues Citron explores and the subjective interpretations she employs. Even those who do not agree with her will find that they will never again view the films in the same way.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521895750
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 159 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 49 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Style:
    1. Operatic style in Coppola's Godfather trilogy
    2. Opera as fragment: 'Liebestod' and 'Nessun dorma' in Aria
    Part II. Subjectivity:
    3. Subjectivity in the opera-films of Jean-Pierre Ponelle
    4. Don Giovanni and subjectivity in Claude Chabrol's La Cérémonie
    Part III. Desire:
    5. 'An honest contrivance': opera and desire in Moonstruck
    6. The sound of desire: Così's 'Soave sia il vento' in Sunday, Bloody Sunday and Closer
    Filmography and videography.

  • Author

    Marcia J. Citron, Rice University, Houston
    Marcia J. Citron is Lovett Distinguished Service Professor of Musicology at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University. She is the author of Opera on Screen (2000), as well as numerous articles on the topic of opera and film, in journals including Musical Quarterly, Music and Letters, and the Journal of Musicology. Her other area of interest is women and gender in music, and she has written three books on this topic: Gender and the Musical Canon (1993), which won an award from the International Alliance for Women in Music; Letters of Fanny Hensel to Felix Mendelssohn (1987), which was awarded 'Outstanding Academic Book' by Choice magazine; and Cécile Chaminde: A Bio-Bibliography (1988).

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