“A Room With a View” (1985) was Director James Ivory’s masterpiece, and one of my favorite films of all time.
In this brilliant scene, Ivory combines beautiful cinematography with the music of Puccini. The song is “Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta” from Puccini’s La Rondine. The singer is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (listen to a full performace in the clip below.)
Actress Helena Bonham Carter, then eighteen years old, has since described the difficulty of the scene; walking in full skirt and high heels through the field in 90 degree heat, and being forcefully kissed by actor Julian Sand (while her mother watched from the sidelines), without laughing!
I read this morning on the BBC that opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa says she will never sing in public again. “I don’t want to hear my voice,” said the soprano, 71, whose career has spanned more than half a century.
“It is in the past. When I’m teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I don’t want to put my voice next to theirs.”
I don’t listen to much opera, but I do love Kiri Te Kanawa, whom I became a fan of after being introduced to her voice in Merchant-Ivory’s brilliant A Room With A View. Listen here to Dame Kiri singinging Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro” (“Oh My Beloved Father”), and Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta.
Could anything be more beautiful? Thank you, Kiri Te Kanawa.