August 2 thru 15, "Opera and Film with William Berger" webinar -- AVAILABLE NOW!!!

  • Opera and Film

  • A Live, Vibrant, Star-Studded Online Course
  • Opera and Film

  • An In-Depth Look into the Nature of Storytelling
  • Opera and Film

  • How the Opera House Became the Movie Theater
  • Opera and Film

  • Beyond Opera ON Film (but that too)…
  • Opera and Film

  • Common Ideas Between “Operatic” and “Cinematic”
  • Opera and Film

  • A Journey for Everyone, of All Interests… with Snacks & Refreshments!

Opera and Film

A Live, Vibrant, Star-Studded Online Course

Opera and Film

An In-Depth Look into the Nature of Storytelling

Opera and Film

How the Opera House Became the Movie Theater

Opera and Film

Beyond Opera ON Film (but that too)…

Opera and Film

Common Ideas Between “Operatic” and “Cinematic”

Opera and Film

A Journey for Everyone, of All Interests… with Snacks & Refreshments!

“Opera and Film” is a course for everybody who has an interest in storytelling in all its forms. “That’s all we’re doing all the time anyway,” Berger says, “whenever we get together with friends, talk on line, when we read books, when we turn on the TV, or when we sing songs: we’re telling stories. That’s what the word “media” means – the seen and unseen things (the ‘mediums’) between people, connecting them or keeping them apart.”

“This is the event I have always wanted to host,” says Berger. “My whole life, between L.A. and New York, has been about exploring the commonalities and the contrasts between movies and opera, and how they play with (and create) our senses and our sensibilities. The webinar format is making this possible at last: I can include the most illustrious guests from both worlds – from all over – in one two-week course.”

“Opera and Film with William Berger” intends to engage people on the deepest levels, no matter who they are or what their experience of these media is or isn’t. The goal is to leave no attendee behind, and no attendee unchallenged. “What we’re talking about, ultimately, is how some of the greatest visionaries have interpreted life, and how they’ve recreated life by the impact of their art,” Berger adds. “What we’re looking at as how we see ourselves and our world.”

What you will see with an "Opera and Film with William Berger" subscription:

Session #1: Intro and Overview – The Idea of Opera in Movies

Sunday, August 2nd, 5:00 PM NY Time 

What does opera stand for in film? How have movies defined what we think of as opera and the opera world?

Special Guests: Joseph Calleja & Du Yun

Films discussed include: A Night at the Opera (Wood), Song of Freedom (Wills), Amadeus (Forman), Diva (Beineix), Pretty Woman (Marshall), Hannah and her Sisters (Allen)

Playlist

Session #2: Movies ABOUT Operas – Sources and “True” Stories

Tuesday, August 4th, 7:30 PM NY Time 

Many movies share the same sources as some of the most iconic operas. In fact, many movies seem to be reclaiming the story from the opera that helped make it famous. Is a movie “truer” than an opera in some way? And how can we talk about “truth” in either of these narrative forms?

Special Guests: Lawrence Brownlee & Muffie Meyer

Films discussed include: Die Nibelungen (Lang); Camille (Cukor); Tosca (Renoir); Phantom of the Paradise (De Palma); Carmen (Gades); First Name: Carmen (Godard); Carmen, a HipHopera (Townsend)

Playlist

Session #3: Opera Genres in Film (Part1) – Expressionism, Romanticism, Nationalism

Thursday, August 6th, 7:30 PM NY Time 

The greatest directors have – wittingly or not – adapted techniques from opera in telling their stories… beyond the use of music (although that too, certainly) and into how characters and settings are presented. How do various genres play out in both opera and film?

Special Guests: Nico Muhly, Holly Goldberg Sloan, & Gary Rosen

Films discussed include: Top Hat (Sandrich); Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein); Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl); Psycho (Hitchcock); Star Wars (any and all, Lucas et al.)

Session #4: Opera Genres in Film (Part 2) – Verismo and the Supreme Masterpieces of Neoverismo

Saturday, August 8th, 5:00 PM NY Time 

Of all genres of opera, none are so misunderstood or derided in our time as Verismo (Mascagni, Puccini, et al.) – yet of all genres of film, none has produced a higher ratio of great cinema than Neoverismo, derived from the operatic prototypes. How did Puccini become Visconti, what happened in the transformation, and what does this tell us about the techniques of Realism in film today?

Special Guests: Quinn Kelsey & Michael Cooper

Films discussed include Roma città aperta (Rossellini); Ladri di biciclette (De Sica); La terra trema (Visconti); Le notti di Cabiria (Fellini); Accattone (Pasolini); Mamma Roma (Pasolini); Roma (Cuarón)

Session #5: Opera Genres in Fim (Part 3) – Beyond Verismo into Fantasy and Surrealism

Sunday, August 9th, 5:00 PM NY Time 

Realism is an ideal that, by definition, can never be fully achieved in art. That’s the point of it. So what happens when an artist takes the next step?

Special Guests: Alice Coote & Phil Jimenez

Films discussed include Miracolo a Milano (De Sica); Senso (Visconti), Rocco and His Brothers (Visconti); Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli); Medea (Pasolini); Cabaret (Fosse); Breaking the Waves (Von Trier)

Session #6: Operatic Music in Movies (Part 1) – Soundtracks

Tuesday, August 11th, 7:30 PM NY Time 

Operatic music has been a mainstay of film soundtracks since the beginning – even predating sound in film. What are we being told when we hear opera in movies? Why does it seem that German Opera = WAR and Italian Opera = civil and sexual disorder in movies? And so what does French Opera =?

Special Guests: Isabel Leonard & Alex Ross

Films discussed include Un chien andalou (Buñuel); Apocalypse Now (Coppola); The Hunger (Scott); The Godfather, Part III (Coppola); The Fifth Element (Besson); La vita è bella (Benigni)

Session #7: Operatic Music in Movies (Part 2) and New Operas Based on Movies

Thursday, August 13th, 7:30 PM NY Time 

Soundtracks are heavily reliant on the evocative power of operatic music (and everything it implies), but opera has in turn become reliant on the evocative power of cinema – sometimes to the point setting movies as operas (a response to operas-as-movies trend we saw in Episode 2).

Special Guests: Susan Graham & Stephen Costello

Films/Opera discussed include El Angel Exterminador/The Exterminating Angel (Buñuel/Adès); Dead Man Walking (Robbins/Heggie); The Fly (Cronenberg/Shore); Brief Encounter (Lean/Previn); Joyeux Noël/Silent Night (Carion/Puts); Breaking the Waves (von Trier/Mazzoli)

Session #8: Operas as Movies – Filming Operas Outside the Theater

Saturday, August 15th, 5:00 PM NY Time 

Operas have been made into films since – rather surprisingly – the silent era, with widely varying degrees of success. Why? What works when we film an opera outside of the theater? What doesn’t? And what does this tell us about the narrative possibilities – and limits – in both opera and film?

Special Guests: Justino Díaz Jessica Pimentel

Film/Operas discussed include: Der Rosenkavalier (Wiene/Strauss); The Threepenny Opera (Pabst/Weill); Eugene Onegin (Tikhomirov/Tchaikovsky); The Magic Flute (Bergman/Mozart); Don Giovanni (Losey/Mozart); Carmen (Saura/Bizet); Otello (Zeffirelli/Verdi)

Recordings of all sessions will be available approximately two to three days after airing to those who purchase a subscription!

Opera and Film Videos

Author / Commentator William Berger

  • "Witty, knowledgeable, iconoclastic, and emphatically nonacademic...Often outrageously funny."

  • -- Library Journal
  • "...Amusing, educational..."

  • -- Publisher's Weekly

"Witty, knowledgeable, iconoclastic, and emphatically nonacademic...Often outrageously funny."

-- Library Journal

"...Amusing, educational..."

-- Publisher's Weekly

There are two ways to get William Berger's past Zoom webinar "The Epic of Opera!"

~~ Via a video package, or individually! Purchase now below in "Our Current Offerings"!!

Questions??

If you have any questions, please contact us at williambergerpresents@gmail.com!