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Classicalite's Five Best: Classical Music and Movie Trivia

By Classicalite Newsdesk on Sep 10, 2013 06:49 PM EDT

For no special reason, in no special order, just especially interesting. Maybe.

Today's subject: classical music and tangential connections to the movies.

Tangential, mind. Nothing too obvious or, you know, clear-cut or really real.

In the 1987 rom-com Moonstruck, Cher's character's grandfather is played by Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. Born in 1905, this Chaliapin was the son of the great bass Feodor Chaliapin. Although both father and son were friendly with Rachmaninov, it is Puccini's music that features heavily in the film's score.

In the 2012 film A Late Quartet, Christopher Walken's character, the cellist Peter Mitchell, tells a story about when he met Pablo Casals. A Late Quartet is fictional but this anecdote was not--it is detailed in the autobiography of a great real-life cellist, Gregor Pitaigorsky.

In the popular series of sci-fi television programs and films Doctor Who, arch-enemies the Daleks rather look as though they are conductors. This is not a statement about the character of conductors. Probably.

The 1990 sequel, The Godfather: Part III, revolved around the decision of Michael Corleone's son Anthony to become an opera singer, and later, his opportunity to sing Mascagni's Turiddu in Sicily. In fact, the actor who played Anthony, Franc D'Ambrosio, had much too light a tenor to sing Turiddu, and his off-screen career has been spent in musical theater and pop music.

Luciano Pavarotti made only one mainstream film in his life, the 1982 box-office and critical disaster Yes, Giorgio, which was nominated for three Golden Raspberry awards (Worst New Star and Worst Actor for Pavarotti, and Worst Screenplay--true to the picture's form, it failed to win any.) The lead character's name, Giorgio Fini, was after an Italian restaurant in which the star and his producer dined when talking about the role. It is unknown whether a popular Star Wars character won his surname after George Lucas dined at Pizza Hut. Sorry.

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TagsClassicalite's Five Best, Moonstruck, Feodor Chaliapin, Puccini, A Late Quartet, Christopher Walken, Doctor Who, The Godfather, Mascagni, Franc D'Ambrosio, Luciano Pavarotti, Yes Giorgio