Gustave_Charpentier

Opera nostalgia on the black and white fillm canvas

THE GLASS MOUNTAIN

This beautiful English film from 1949 is truly irresistible, and not only for opera lovers. The melodrama, about an English composer who crashed in the Alps with his plane during the Second World War and is rescued by a group of partisans led by a beautiful Italian, is a bit reminiscent of the classic The Brief Encounter. So, a handkerchief is not superfluous. The (married) composer falls in love with his rescuer and once back in London he writes an opera inspired by his experiences in the mountains. And it is more than a treat to come across many old opera stars, both in the story and on the stage of the Milanese La Scala.

Michael Denison who plays the leading role has the appearance of a Hugh Grant, and the enchanting music was composed by Nino Rota. Tito Gobbi plays a small but important role of a partisan who is an opera singer in daily life and who is of course given the leading role in the opera.

Directed by: Henry Cras
Music: Nino Rota
with (a.o.) Valentina Cortese, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray and Tito Gobbi

LOUISE

Louise

In 1938 the great Abel Gance filmed the opera Louise of Gustave Charpentier. The leading part was played and sung by Grace Moore, perhaps the most famous Louise ever, who also made a great career in Hollywood as a film star. The charismatic French tenor Georges Thill (Julien) also played in several films and, besides having a singing career on stage, also made a name for himself as a great film actor.

There are many cuts, but since the film was supervised by the composer, we can assume that he agreed with them. Unfortunately, the film is not subtitled, but the booklet contains an extensive synopsis with a detailed description of all the scenes.

GUSTAVE CHARPENTIER
Louise
Directed by: Abel Gance
With a.o. Grace Moore and Georges Thill

Translation: Douglas Nasrawi