Opera and Mainstream Movies

22 Aug

Parisienne and Littlebells

Continuing our music appreciation, LIH’s focus this week is use of opera in mainstream movies.  Below are 3 very powerful opera pieces.  When collaborated into a film, these songs make the scenes more powerful, stimulating, and passionate.   

Sull’ Aria” from The Marriage of Figaro featured in Shawshank Redemption

As used in the film:

O Fortuna” featured in 300 (fight scene)

Nessun Dorma” from Sum of All Fears

Please don’t forget to share any comments on this selection or other operatic selections you have enjoyed in films!

6 Responses to “Opera and Mainstream Movies”

  1. comic relief August 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM #

    Paris and LB,

    Your film scholarship is really great if you are doing this from memory. This presentation of compositions was as good as the last.

    Music for both “O Fortuna” and “Nessun Dorma” seem like great selections (I hope I don’t feel that way because a European location is specified or implied).

    I know I have seen “Shawshank Redemption” at least three times yet I do not remember where that song can be heard. Guess I will need to see it again.

    • Littlebells August 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM #

      Hi CR!

      Thanks and so glad you enjoyed these pieces. If you copy and paste the address under “As Used in the Film”, this is towards the end of the film when Andy is working inside the Warden’s office.

      I had never heard “Nessun Dorma” until Sum of All Fears. I thought how they edited the scenes and use of this song were magnificent! i don’t know what it is with the killing and the passionate music that makes it so perfect, but it does. haha! 🙂

      • comic relief August 22, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

        Now that sounds likely. That music would be really effective underscoring a pensive moment in the film.

        I don’t particularly understand why but the classical music is so great at ushering in changes in story, tone, and character. So you have a pre-murder sequence, a murder sequence, then the emotional after math; and what better music to illustrate or support these events.

        Or more simply the music supported opera’s shouldn’t it be as successful with feature films?

        • comic relief August 22, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

          …just the same, I still liked the movie selections you two chose…

      • Lurker August 24, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

        I loved that fact the Nessun Dorma was in The Sum of all fears! That particular piece of music has cressendo’s in all the right places and fit the scene really well! Was not the first time for me hearing it but it’s great that you recognized it! It will always be a Pavarotti piece for me.

        In the Godfather 3 is the scene where the shots are fired ironically on steps of the opera house. Instead of hearing Michael Corleone scream you hear the music from the Opera. Cavalier Rustica (my spelling is off).

        But I love how opera permeates movies when you don’t realize it.
        In fact, the early Disney movie – Fantasia (lots of classical opera music). And of course, let’s not forget the Bugs Bunny cartoon that’s the clip from the Barber of Seville and Figaro. Too Funny!

        Great articles ladies! 🙂

        • Littlebells August 24, 2011 at 10:32 PM #

          Lurker!!!!! Welcome back!

          Believe me, I will be getting to many of the films and operas you mentioned as well as some others. Not for a while because I don’t want to overwhelm. 😉 I plan on using a lot from The Godfather movies.

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