MovieChat Forums > A Night at the Opera (1935) Discussion > does the singing in this movie get on an...

does the singing in this movie get on anyone's nevers?


the last 20 mins of this movie is opera singing nonstop, i just can't stand it, even thought your not just watching somone sing, still that's all you hear. alot of people complain about a day at the races, but that one doesn't bother me, and i like "who's that man", alot, but this movie the singing was killing me at the end. who else thinks so?

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Well, since I happen to love opera, I really enjoyed the ending. Especially the "Miserere". Opera teamed with the Marx Brothers? How could I miss!

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I personally like opera, but I can't see even the most anti-opera Marx fan preferring "Two Blind Loves" or "Tenement Symphony" to "Il Trovatore."

-- Rob
http://robvincent.net http://nyc2600.net

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Oh yeah... "Tenement Symphony" ... zzzzzzzz

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[deleted]

you are exactly right. it's pretty wierd when they decide to throw in the lastest 50 cent song because it's popular instead of having a reason. my problem here is just i don't like opera music. i can't tell you why. i like classical music, just not opera.

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[deleted]

that's wierd. i love listning to chico play, somtimes harpo. but it's somthing i look forward to in their movies. another thing i don't like is when somone else sings in their movies, like out of nowhere. cocanuts is a good example. that girl kept singing when my dream comes true or somthing, over and over. the first time a the beginning was alright, but again and agin, now this guy has to sing it after her, it got old pretty quick. i wish ther was more songs like monkey doodle doo or everyone says i love you in their movies. i love those two songs. or harpos songs with black people(through out of place and wierd)they were good catchy memeorable tunes. but the slow love songs are good practice on using the fastfoward button.

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[deleted]

I'm going to jump in here with a different interpretation of the original poster's intent. The OP never said anything about the style of music being bad. Rather it's the singing (performance) that was annoying. If so, I have to agree.

The tenor was great. Smooth, precise and mellifluous. But the soprano voice was awful! (Opera connaiseurs back me up here) Her vibrato was so thick that she missed half the notes or ended up singing glissando on scales that should have been more precise. And the microphone wasn't particularly kind to her voice either (bad frequency response). During the parts where the 2 were singing together, her voice was overpowering, intrusive and shrill.

This is just how I heard it, of course. If other people enjoyed her singing, then that's fine with me. I'm just making the point that it's not necessarily the "opera music" that turns people off. Sometimes it's just the performance.

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The problem with tecnical sound quality of movies of this age is we have no clue how much of the trouble was with the actual sound engineering at the time, and how much is due to the material simply being old.

It's like how nobody who sees the Mona Lisa today knows just how it looked when it was new, because the colors have faded so badly over the centuries.

-- Rob
http://robvincent.net http://nyc2600.net

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Very, very true. And sad.

I'm no audio expert, but I have worked on some audio remastering projects in the studio. Old tapes (or film, for that matter) degrade fast, and there's very little you can do to compensate 50 years later. I'll give it another watch, keeping that in mind. Thanks for the insight, RTF.

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[deleted]

When I was a kid, the singing in this movie and other comedy movies was mildly annoying, but I think it works now and compliments the comedy of this and other Marx Bros movies.

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As in "The Great Waltz" which features operatic music as well, and tends to have the 'same problem' IMO, I was assuming it was a technical problem rather than a problem with talent.

"The Flagon With The Dragon Has The Brew Which Is True"

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I could've done w/o several of the opera songs - they seemed to come non-stop towards the end. I didn't mind Ricardo's singing as much as Rodolfo & especially Rosa's - I had to fast fwd thru her!

"Are you going to your grave with unlived lives in your veins?" ~ The Good Girl

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Yes, I agree... as much as I like opera singing and musical Marx films, Rosa's singing made me go... AAARGH!! She screeched too much IMHO, and Ricardo can't sing opera full-stop... Maybe it's just the film's quality, but it sounded so horrible!!

---
Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well...

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Ricardo can't sing opera full-stop
Very hard to believe that opera-loving New Yorkers would go for him in a big way as the movie suggests.

I don't think the problem is with the recording so much as the wild comedy of the Marxs and opera really don't mix despite the popularity of the movie. The movie has always been loved in spite of the opera passages not because of them. Also, Allan Jones is just too smug to be playing the "likable" romantic lead.

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I'll have to disagree here. Allan Jones was an operatic tenor (he actually performed in operas before he did movies) who had a sensitivity that most other tenors didn't, and yet he still had a very powerful voice that could reach the rafters. No, Kitty Carlisle wasn't great operatically, but she didn't have the same training.

As an aspiring opera singer and an avid opera fan, I've always loved the last twenty minutes. :)

"Remember men, we're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
- Duck Soup

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As someone who doesn't like opera, I have to give an emphatic yes.



Dear Mom, I put a couple of people in Hell today...

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Yeah, it's just filler. Not particularly interesting. Especially on board the ship.

Supermodels...spoiled stupid little stick figures mit poofy lips who sink only about zemselves.

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It nerve gets on my nevers!

If the visuals are the first things to be praised about a film, it generally means it's a bad film.

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I really don't know anything about opera, but I thought it made the movie different and somehow a little more special. Other posters have mentioned the poor sound engineering, so I won't go into that.

But I will add that the movie avoids cheap laughs from poking the easily-lampoonable opera world. When you think about it, the writing takes the high road at every turn instead of mocking the opera world which a lot of us just don't understand.

"Hot sun, cool breeze, white horse on the sea, and a big shot of vitamin B in me!"

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It actually REALLY annoyed me

I know this movie was an opera and all and it was okay and possibly needed, but I can't say that I loved those scenes and wished they would last forever

Even when Harpo and Chicko were playing their things it was boring to me...

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This is just a guess on my part but it seems to me that accomplished opera singers would probably scoff at playing second banana to Groucho, Chico & Harpo in a movie. We're talking about the infancy of sound movies here. It was a new medium that probably wouldn't have attracted any biggies of the opera at the time. If you look at the history of motion pictures, very few featured opera singing as even a secondary plot, let alone the primary plot of a film. So if the singing isn't up to the standards of an opera expert, it probably shouldn't be a great surprise.

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