Saturday, February 23, 2013


As an older woman who once sang in Rigoletto, I thought Quartet was the movie for me.  The action takes place in a home for retired musicians called Beecham House.  They have fallen on hard times and want to hold a gala on Verdi's birthday to raise money.

There were many familiar faces on the screen--including Maggie Smith the newcomer, Billy Connolly who can no longer censor anything he says, Michael Gambon, etc.--but none of them were more familiar than the great Dame Gwyneth Jones.  She appeared in many of the scenes and allowed herself to be insulted by the actors.  She even sang parts of "Vissi d'arte" in the gala, the only real singing besides the trio singing "Three little maids from school."  Throughout the film she was treated with a subtle deference.

When it came time to actually hear the quartet from Rigoletto, it was Paravotti, while still in their prime.  The movie reminded me a little of Tosca's Kiss.

Old age is not for sissies.

I've decided to include a copy of the quartet from Rigoletto that I like.

And while we're at it, here is Dame Gwyneth in Der Rosenkavalier.  Octavian is Brigitte Fassbaender.



Charlotte said...

Dear Dr B, as far as I know, 'Quartet' is based on 'Tosca's Kiss'. I haven't watched 'Quartet' yet, looking very much forward to it. :) Though I think that it will be far away from the very special charm that one can enjoy in Daniel Schmid's Documentation. By the way, you can watch it on YouTube!

Dr.B said...

I like it better where they are all real.