Musicals Blog

Operas on DVD

My new theme is "Operas on DVD." For the next few posts, I'll add my reviews on four opera or opera-related movies: "Porgy and Bess," "Carmen," "Pirates of Penzance," and the movie that probably first introduced many people to opera, "Amadeus."

Porgy and Bess (1993)

The original "Porgy and Bess" movie, released in 1959, turned George and Ira Gershwin's opera into a traditional movie musical. The Gershwin estate was so dissatisfied with the film that they pulled it from circulation. Fortunately, for fans of Gershwin and "Porgy and Bess," a DVD of the Glyndebourne Opera company's 1993 performance of the opera is now available. [read more ...]

Carmen - Bizet (1984)

The film version of Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen" was released in 1984. It had a superb cast of major opera performers, including Placido Domingo, Julia Migenes-Johnson and Ruggero Raimondi.

The original opera was first performed in Paris in 1875 but it was not successful initially. Bizet died just three months after the opening, so he never experienced the joy of seeing "Carmen" become one of the world's best-loved and most popular operas. [read more ...]

The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

Joseph Papp, in 1980, produced a wonderful production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" for the Central Park Delacorte Theater. It was such a success that shortly afterwards it was moved to Broadway, where it played for 787 performances and it won the Tony award for Best Revival. This excellent production was filmed in 1983 and is available on DVD and VHS. [read more ...]

Amadeus (1984)

Although "Amadeus" is not an opera, it has scenes from several of Mozart's operas and it probably introduced many viewers to opera. Three of the operas featured in "Amadeus" are "Don Giovanni," "The Magic Flute" and "The Marriage of Figaro." [read more ...]