A deliciously biting satire about both the world of Grand Opera and United Europe. A Hungarian conductor (Arestrup) attempts to mount a bold new production of Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser" ... See full summary »

Director:

István Szabó
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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Karin Anderson
Niels Arestrup ... Zoltan Szanto
Kiri Te Kanawa Kiri Te Kanawa ... Elisabeth (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
René Kollo René Kollo ... Tannhäuser (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Håkan Hagegård Håkan Hagegård ... Wolfram von Eschenbach (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Waltraud Meier Waltraud Meier ... Venus (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Renate Spingler Renate Spingler ... A young shepherd (Tannhäuser highlights perfomed by) (voice)
Matthias Hölle Matthias Hölle ... The Landgrave (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Kim Begley Kim Begley ... Walther von der Vogelweide (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Robin Leggate Robin Leggate ... Heinrich der Schreiber (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Rodney Macann Rodney Macann ... Biterolf (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Roderick Earle Roderick Earle ... Reinmar von Zweter (Tannhäuser highlights performed by) (voice)
Marián Labuda ... Von Schneider
Maïté Nahyr Maïté Nahyr ... Maria Krawiecki
Victor Poletti Victor Poletti ... Stefano Del Sarto
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Storyline

A deliciously biting satire about both the world of Grand Opera and United Europe. A Hungarian conductor (Arestrup) attempts to mount a bold new production of Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser" while navigating the snares and pitfalls of artistic egos, rampant nationalism, internal company and union politics, and precarious funding. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

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Plot Keywords:

gay | diva | nationalism | opera | passport | See All (14) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The director's name, István Szabó, translates as Stephen Tailor, and one running gag in the film is that several people are called this in different languages: Stefan Schneider, Steve Taylor, Stefano Sarto (three of the singers), and Etienne Tailleur (the stage manager). See more »

Quotes

Zoltan Szanto: I could mix up my work with my private life.
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Soundtracks

Du bis wie eine Blume
(from song cycle "Myrthen, op. 25")
Music by Robert Schumann
Text by Heinrich Heine
Performed by Kiri Te Kanawa soprano, Roger Vignoles piano
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User Reviews

 
A first rate film about the birth of a Tannhauser performance
23 February 2004 | by kerjoskaSee all my reviews

This film is much more than a customary movie about opera, though opera lovers get first-rate extracts from Wagner's Tannhauser as well. The action takes place in an imaginary "Opera Europe" in Paris. István Szabó, the excellent film director is really interested here in fanatic people of the theater who came from several countries of Europe to unite their talent in order to create a successful performance of Wagner's youthful masterpiece. The ensemble is a mixture of multinational people: the head of the company (a Spaniard, a former hero of the Spanish Civil War,) her private secretary and mistress (descendant of a noble Russian family,) the conductor (a talented young Hungarian who suffers from inferiority complex because of his East-block origin,) the singer who plays Tannhauser (a permanently offended dumpy man from the DDR with beautiful voice,) the French theatrical technician (a pig headed trade unionist who causes much trouble,) etc. They carry with themselves all good and vicious habits and traditions of their origin which cause many conflicts but humorous episodes as well during the rehearsals. There is a remarkable scene when at a dinner party the protagonists put aside all of their conflicts and sing together a song called "Suliko" which was once Stalin's favorite. (They sing it not because they love Stalin, but because of a certain nostalgia for their youth.) In the center of the story stands the Hungarian conductor's and a Nordic singer's (played by Glenn Close) stormy love affair which ends in diminuendo (using here deliberately this term of music.) Strongly recommended for everyone who loves art and theater.


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Details

Country:

UK | Japan | USA | Hungary

Language:

English | Hungarian | French | German

Release Date:

December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meeting Venus See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,715, 17 November 1991

Gross USA:

$1,000,348

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,000,348
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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