Opera / Dario Argento

  • Country and year: Italy 1987
  • Duration: 107 min
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Writer: Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini
  • Producer(s): Dario Argento, Ferdinando Caputo
  • Music: Claudio Simonetti, Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Bill Wyman
  • Cast: Christina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Berberina, Daria Nicolodi
  • Format: DCP

”Film’s core story follows an ingénue soprano named Betty (Cristina Marsillach), who has just been tasked with the leading female role in the operatic version of Macbeth, after the main star Mara Cecova is hit by a car. But as Betty makes her splash as Lady Macbeth, a masked killer begins stalking those working in the opera house, forcing the rising starlet to bear witness to several vicious murders, leaving Betty unable to determine just who she can trust anymore.

Of course, as is the case with nearly every other Argento giallo, there’s a lot more to Opera than just a simple murder mystery. Its story, clearly the Maestro’s own take on Phantom of the Opera, with a slasher-meets-heavy-metal twist to it, has numerous intriguing layers —

For every gorgeously composed moment we see of the Macbeth live performances, Argento in turn delivers up a merciless and savage death, subjecting the film’s protagonist Betty to endure every blood-soaked hack and slash. There’s no escaping the carnage—from brutal stabbings to throats being ripped out to an innovative peephole gunshot kill—and Argento wants to make sure that we bear witness to everything he has in store for us, much like Opera’s protagonist Betty, who the masked killer outfits with a strip of needles below her eyes, making it impossible for her to look away.” – Heather Wixson / Daily Dead

 

”Baroque, beserk, bloody and beautiful. What more could you want?”
– John Martin / The Deep Red Horror Handbook

”A film of rare beauty, a celebration of love’s absence and the ferocious force of the gaze”
– Ed Gonzalez / Slant Magazine

”One of Argento’s most memorable films”
– Tim Brayton / Antagony & Ecstasy

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