Film as Opera: Three Perspectives on Still Life and Brief Encounter

in Music, Narrative and the Moving Image
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Abstract

Opera and film is an area of scholarly endeavour that has engaged a wide variety of methodologies in recent years. The usual areas of investigation include opera on film; opera as film; opera in film, and film in opera. However, film as opera is a relatively new phenomenon. André Previn drew on David Lean’s 1945 film, Brief Encounter, based on Noël Coward’s 1936 play, Still Life, for an opera premiered in 2009. The Kneehigh Theatre Company also used the film as the basis for its 2008 production, Brief Encounter. This paper investigates how these three adaptations of the Coward play draw on different elements of the source work, each finding a distinctive musical response to the play.

Music, Narrative and the Moving Image

Varieties of Plurimedial Interrelations

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