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Switzerland, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Daniel Schmid

Giuseppe Verdi's "finest work" (Verdi's own opinion) still stands on the Piazza Buonorotti in Milan. The Casa di Riposa was founded in 1896 for people "less fortunate than I". People who never accomplished big careers, and have now lost all their earnings. Daniel Schmid's remarkable documentary unfolds in operatic style; the film being dedicated to Casa Verdi, and bearing the name of a Puccini opera (Tosca is the only heroine on the lyrical stage whose profession is that of an opera singer - "Tosca's Kiss" is the kiss of death).

"The main charm of the whole venture is the unusual personalities of the singers interviewed and followed by the camera included are Sara Scuderi, one of the greatest divas of the past, who lights up the screen with her presence and is both humorous, sensitive and passionate in her reactions; Giuseppe Manachini, who remembers how he decided to retire at the right time, but still keeps in a trunk all the costumes that made him famous on the stage; Leonida Bellon, who still sports the true spirit of the true tenor; and composer-conductor Puligheddu, possibly the only character in this film that is slightly grotesque, but also very amusing when he fixes dates with the camera. There is also an interview with Giulietta Simonato, one of the great mezzos of our time, who is now president of the friends of the Casa Verdi, who are responsible for keeping this venerable institution going, once the author rights left by the composer for this purpose had stopped, Verdi's works having gone into public domain some 20 years ago ".

- Variety

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