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Operas on screen

Opera conjures up images of things that are uber classy — aficionados on red carpet in chic black gowns and suits armed with wine-filled crystal glasses.

Written by Alaka Sahani |
June 18, 2009 3:28:07 am

Opera conjures up images of things that are uber classy — aficionados on red carpet in chic black gowns and suits armed with wine-filled crystal glasses. All this will duly mark the viewing of La Cenerentola (Cinderella) on Friday evening in Mumbai even though there is one aberration-all the drama and music of Gioachino Rossini’s famous comic opera is going to be rolled out on the silver screen.

Once opera lovers have savoured the La Cenerentola experience on June 19 and June 20 at Metro BIG Cinemas,Mumbai,the screenings of Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar),the winner of South Bank Show Award for Best Opera in 2006 and Salute Petra will follow. These screenings are the result of Big Cinemas’ tie-up with London-based More2Screen,which specialises in arts-based alternative content programming for cinemas.

The Soboites have unfailingly lapped up this Western classical music tradition during the intermittent performances at NCPA. But this association might make it a more regular affair with a dash of international flavour. Tushar Dhingra,COO,BIG Cinemas says,“Global awareness among Indian audiences has made them desirous of distinct international experiences. By screening operas,we are just providing an enriching cultural experience to our guests.”

This,however,comes with the price tag of Rs 1,000 per seat,which Dhingra terms “very affordable”,and all-black dress code.

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More2Screen is the worldwide theatrical distribution partner for the famous Glyndebourne Festival. It was there that La Cenerentola,the 19th-century opera based on Cinderella was staged.

Another Glyndebourne production,Giulio Cesare,to be screened on July 4 and July 5,is one of George Frideric Handel’s grandest works. Salute Petra,to be shown on July 18 and July 19,is a tribute concert to the late Luciano Pavarotti,at Petra,Jordan. All the operas will have English and Italian subtitles.

Excited over the association,the co-founder of More2Screen Christine Costello says,“We are bringing a world-class portfolio of cultural programming to cinemas in India for the very first time. Indian opera and classical music fans can now enjoy the finest performances as theatre-style entertainment at their local cinema.”

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First published on: 18-06-2009 at 03:28:07 am

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