Open Screens

Looking Back at the (French) Opera-Film

by Phil Powrie (2018)

Films focusing on music, whether musicals or biographies of singers, have had considerable success in the last decade; and opera has been increasingly incorporated into film soundtracks. But the modern opera film seems destined to be a subgenre associated with the 1980s. The majority of modern opera films from the mid-1970s through to the turn of the millennium were principally French-produced or French co-productions. This article considers the early development of the opera film and focuses on the final few opera films made in France – Boris Godounov (Andrzej Žuławski, 1989), Madame Butterfly(Frédéric Mitterrand, 1995) and Tosca (Benoît Jacquot, 2001) – placing them in the context of the challenges faced by the subgenre.

Keywords: opera film, /Louise, Carmen, Boris Godounov, Madame Butterfly, Tosca/.

(School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey, GB)


Powrie, Phil
Looking Back at the (French) Opera-Film.
In: Open Screens 1,1,5 (2018), 39 p.