Between the 1910s and 20s, countless film adaptations of operas originated as the consequence of a true medial competition between cinema and the bourgeois cultural institution par excellence: opera.
The film adaptation of an operatic original cannot be regarded as a mere ‘relocation’ of the stage’s subject on the big screen. The transposition of a music theater work into a cinematic work can be properly framed as a remediation: i.e., the transposition of a source text from its original form of presentation into a new textual system.
The paper focuses on a spectrum of music scenes – from Albert Capellani’s La vie de Boheme (1912) to Jacques Feyder’s Carmen (1916), and from Robert Wiene’s Rosenkavalier (1926) to Ludwig Berger’s Der Meister von Nürnberg (1927) – that represent different and complementary strategies in transposing operatic music numbers to the cinema.
F. Finocchiaro, Arias and Ensembles in the Film Adaptations of Operas: Some Preliminary Reflections, Musical Moments Conference, University of Salzburg, March 8–10, 2018.