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Opera + Cinema = Match Made in Heaven

29 June 2020

Are you missing Welsh National Opera’s live performances? We miss you too. So much so we’ve compiled a list of films that have live opera performances in them so you can recreate the feeling of being in the velvet seat yourselves. Although, if it's specifically WNO you want we will be streaming our production of Le Vin herbé  soon so keep your eyes on our social media for when. Blessed though we have been in lockdown with an outstanding array of online footage from whole operas to snippets of live music, nothing quite beats the live buzz of being at the opera. If you are missing the hum of the crowd, the clink of interval drinks and the thrill of the action unfolding before you, here are some films that encompass all of the fun of a night at the opera.

We understand that throughout the lockdown there have been good and bad days - ups, downs and sometimes a whole rollercoaster of emotions all in one day. Luckily for you there are so many films with opera in them that they can cater for any occasion. If you are looking to inject some romance back into your daily routine, Cher watching La bohème  at the Met in Moonstruck is the one for you. She and Nicholas Cage make a slightly crazed couple (we can all sympathise with that right now) but when he takes her hand as their eyes well up you can’t help but feel yourself welling up; like the glistening tears of Julia Roberts in the memorable scene from Pretty Woman.

If the frustration of the slow, stripped back version of life you find yourself in is grinding your gears Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation will certainty shoot some adrenaline straight into your living room. Although if you're an opera fan you're probably more worried about Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt falling on stage and ruining Puccini’s Turandot or damaging the gorgeous Vienna State Opera building.

If you’re looking for a much needed giggle, Where Angels Fear to Tread has an excellent scene where a very grumpy Judy Davis keeps telling the jovial, cheering crowds  of a provincial opera to hush in Italy (although be warned the rest of it's not that cheery) but you can’t help catching their enthusiasm. The reason opera works so beautifully in all these films, across all these genres (who can forget the astounding scene in Luc Besson’s sci-fi The Fifth Element - if you haven't seen it - do) from aliens belting it out on stage to James Bond scaring off the audience of Tosca in Bregenz; opera is the dramatic moment that every film needs and every opera has in buckets.

If you have been enraptured by something online but have never actually been, we’re jealous because, boy oh boy, do you have a treat in store for you - if an aria made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up through your television then imagine it live. Unlike Mission Impossible the only bullets flying will be the metaphorical ones straight into your heart.