Monday, November 26, 2012

Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln at the Opera in the Movie

I just learned that Mary Todd Lincoln is talking over "Laisse-moi contempler ton visage," an aria from the third act of Gounod's Faust in this scene:

[Alas, the credits in the IMDb do not give the names of the singers.]

I enjoyed the Spielberg Lincoln movie (which I got to see in grand Los Angeles theater) a great deal, but I wish that the John Williams music during the action was not so deliberately evocative of Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." When I am watching a film I want to feel like I am in the film, not looking at it retrospectively, and there's nothing about the Lincoln Portrait that is not retrospective. I imagine that the Lincoln-Copland connection was exactly what Spielberg wanted, but for me it felt distracting.

I would suggest staying through the credits because that music that accompanies them is beautifully written and beautifully played by the Chicago Symphony. It also leaves the shadow of Copland once in a while. The trumpet playing is remarkable.

I find it also interesting how Sally Field, a woman of 66, can play the role of Mary Todd Lincoln, a woman of 47, so convincingly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The singers in the scene are John Bellemar as Faust and Mary Dunleavy as Marguerite. They're listed in the IMDb cast list and credited at the end of the movie.