Great films based on Operas....Not ''filmed'' Operas.

by clockbirdstar | created - 07 Dec 2011 | updated - 07 Dec 2011 | Public

This is a list of films that are based on famous Operas. While there are hundreds of filmed operas that are wonderful, this list does not include those. None of the films listed here are taped on stages or as concert performances. There are too many Franco Zeffirelli opera films to list, so I suggest you go check out his page on IMDB .This is a list in progress...

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1. The Magic Flute (2006)

135 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During World War I, in an unnamed country, a soldier named Tamino is sent by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the clutches of the supposedly evil Sarastro. But all is not as it seems.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Joseph Kaiser, Amy Carson, René Pape, Lyubov Petrova

Votes: 986

This is a great adaptation directed by the one and only Kenneth Branagh. The dubbing of the singing voices may be slightly off at times, but the voices were chosen well. It's definitly worth watching even if you are not researching a role in this opera.

2. Rusalka (1977)

119 min | Drama, Fantasy, Musical

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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Director: Petr Weigl | Stars: Magda Vásáryová, Milan Knazko, Premysl Kocí, Jaroslava Adamová

Votes: 33

This is an amazing and enchanting film adaptation of Dvorak's Rusalka. It's in the original language and directed by Peter Weigl. It's hard to find, but worth looking for. The singers cast for this film are wonderful.

3. Medea (1969)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

On a quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. But when the King banishes her, Medea will plot her furious revenge.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Maria Callas, Massimo Girotti, Laurent Terzieff, Giuseppe Gentile

Votes: 3,341

This is Pasolini's interpretation of Cherubini's opera, Medea. This is the one and only film with Maria Callas that is made available to the public. If you are a fan of La Divina, this film is a must.

4. Madame Butterfly (1995)

134 min | Drama, Music

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of a young geisha who falls madly in love with an american captain that travels all around the world collecting hearts.

Director: Frédéric Mitterrand | Stars: Ying Huang, Richard Troxell, Ning Liang, Richard Cowan

Votes: 510

I only wish Martin Scorsese would direct more films based on Operas! Any film or opera lover will enjoy this film.

5. Camille (1936)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 6,172 | Gross: $1.15M

Camille is based on the same play that the opera La Traviata was based on. It's a beautifully shot classic film. There is also a 1921 version of this film that is enjoyable for any classic film lover.

6. Carmen Jones (1954)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

6.9
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Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James

Votes: 3,674

This is a fun, unique adaptation of Bizet's Carmen. It's in technicolor so it gets extra points for it's vividness and great cinematic style.

7. Carmen (2003)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on the novel by Prosper Merimee, CARMEN is the classic tale of forbidden passion between a young man (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and a spoken-for woman, Carmen (Paz Vega). It is told in ... See full summary »

Director: Vicente Aranda | Stars: Paz Vega, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Antonio Dechent, Joan Crosas

Votes: 1,721

This adaptation starring Paz Vega is as gritty and depressing as Carmen gets. Compared to the Carmen Jones film, this takes things in a completly opposite direction. It's brutal and raw. This film version might be closer to what Bizet had in mind when writing his opera.

8. Manon Lescaut (1914)

60 min | Drama, Romance

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Manon Lescaut, ordered to a convent by her religious fanatic father, meets and falls for a wealthy young man, the Chevalier des Grieux. Together they escape her escorts and flee to Paris. ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Hall Winslow | Stars: Lina Cavalieri, Lucien Muratore, Dorothy Arthur, William L. Abingdon

I wish this film was more widely available. It stars the classic Lina Cavalieri.

9. Aida (1953)

Approved | 95 min | Musical

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Aida, featuring the actress Sophia Loren, is a film adaptation of a theatre performance written by Verdi. The plot revolves around the character Radames who falls in love with what he ... See full summary »

Director: Clemente Fracassi | Stars: Sophia Loren, Renata Tebaldi, Lois Maxwell, Ebe Stignani

Votes: 140

This film version of Verdi's masterpiece has Sophia Loren cast as Aida dubbed with Renata Tebaldi's beautiful voice.

10. Onegin (1999)

R | 106 min | Drama, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
59 Metascore

In the opulent St. Petersburg of the Empire period, Eugene Onegin is a jaded but dashing aristocrat - a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and, finally,... See full summary »

Director: Martha Fiennes | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler, Toby Stephens, Lena Headey

Votes: 6,698 | Gross: $0.21M

Tchaikovsky based his opera Eugene Onegin on the same novel by Pushkin that this film was based on. It's a beautiful and haunting film.