Music: Through the Looking Glass

Fantastic imagery abounds in two new films of Wagner

Film ought to be a lively medium for opera. The cinema can broaden a production's scope while narrowing its focus, providing the viewer with a fresh, if necessarily arbitrary, perspective that can simultaneously combine straightforward storytelling with implicit commentary. Watching a filmed opera should be like attending a performance with an omniscient, highly opinionated fan.

It hasn't worked out that way. Directors have generally been content either to substitute handsome actors for the singers supplying the sound track or simply to shoot a stage...

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