Blu-Ray Review: Opera



The opera, like theatre and the ballet, is a place where emotions run high and passions can overflow. It’s a stage for the greatest romances, the funniest comedy and the harshest tragedies. An arena to experience your wildest dreams and endure your greatest nightmares. It’s can also be a boiling pot of jealousy, danger and suspicion. It is the setting for Dario Argento’s most commercially successful film, Opera. A film based upon his unsuccessful staging of Verdi’s Macbeth. The ‘curse’ transferred itself to his 1987 production, with a number of incidents and mishaps dogging the production.

When his leading lady, an ill-tempered diva and a director’s worst nightmare, is hit by a car it gives Marco (Ian Charleson) a major headache. He has no option but to give the role of Lady Macbeth to her young understudy, Betty (Cristina Marsillach). She’s an instant hit but attracts the wrong kind of attention. She’s targeted by a killer who makes her watch as he dispatches his victims. Inspector Santini (Urbano Barberini) has a race against time to unmask the homicidal maniac.

Opera is undoubtedly Argento’s most lavishly produced film. He uses a variety of angles and shots to place the audience in the killer’s shoes and keep you off-balance throughout. At the same time employing a number of familiar devices to add to the mystery and ramp-up the tension. It gallops along at a fair old pace, driven by a rousing heavy metal soundtrack. Indeed, in many ways Opera feels like Argento’s rock opera. Allowing us voyeurs to watch from the stalls as he demonstrates why he’s such a master of his art.

Extras:

  • Aria of Fear : A brand new candid interview with director Dario Argento
  • Opera Backstage : A detailed, period documentary showing Argento making Opera (40 minutes)
  • Restoration featurette on the process from raw to scan to the re-graded, restored final vision

Special Features:

  • Dual edition with slipcase
  • New 2k scan, restored and re-graded in consultation with director Dario Argento
  • New, improved English subtitles for the separate optional Italian audio

Opera is released on Dual-Format Blu-ray and DVD by CultFilms and VOD 21 January

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