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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Bruno Bozzetto & Guido Manuli "Opera" (1973)





Frankly I have been as likely to sneeze at as view the monitor this past week. I need a pick-me-up and there is no more uplifting a musical form than Opera, especially in the inspired hands of Bruno Bozzetto and Guido Manuli. So from way back in 1973, prepare to be transported to a highly wrought world where Romeo sings under Verona’s fair balcony and an amply endowed diva struts her stuff on the balcony, only for it to collapse under the weight of her talent. But true professionals never miss a note. Othello strangles Desdemona, constricting her airflow, causing a build up of air and the two float up to the stage lanterns. The operatic world is explored in melodramatic fashion, before Bruno and Guido are off on their travels, where their wit takes them, lampooning a whole succession of historical and contemporary phenomena. Would The Beatles have been The Beatles without the hair? Our guide to the opera kicks off the head of the Great Sphinx to allow oil wells to fuel ever more grandiose automobiles that get stuck in an endless queue of traffic. Not to get too concerned because Richard Nixon bombs everything anyway leaving the Statue of Liberty to preside over calamity. Essentially a collection of visual gags on a theme, there is something of the surreal about it all. And if everything goes pear shaped the curtain drops and we dash to the bar. Exuberant genius, as always from a masterly team.

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