Monday, December 28, 2020

WW84 Confusingly Uses Mozart For Emotional Affect

Remember coloratura soprano Christine Johnston? Well, she's resurfaced in the second full-length feature Wonder Woman film titled WW84. Unfortunately it's not flattering for anyone. For some reason the producers decided to use the aria "Voi che sapete" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro in what is supposed to be a fantastical scene of discovery as Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) sees the technology in the world of 1984 that he's been thrust into after being resurrected from 1918. Much of this film reads as a cheesy B-movie from the '80s, but this was a real lost opportunity. In the context of the opera, the character of Cherubino is Count Almaviva's page and a teenage boy who is girl-crazy. In opera this is known as "pants role" and sung often times in modern day by a mezzo-soprano. For this aria, we find out that the Count is tired of Cherubino's philandering with women so he's sending him off to army duty in Seville. Cherubino sings to Countess Almaviva and the servant Susanna about how much love he has to give. Hijinks ensue as any good as any plans that Beaumarchais created in his play La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro on which Da Ponte based his libretto. The opera premiered in 1786, so maybe there is supposed to be some cleverness about the '80s? The film score was hammered out by Hollywood veteran Hans Zimmer so maybe this was his idea? At any rate, the audience has to endure a pedantically sung piece that has no place in this movie. You can watch the film on HBOMax: After the jump is a performance of "Voi che sapete" by Frederica von Stade.