A Documentary Film by Danie Schmid. Meet the inhabitants of the "Casa di Riposa" in Milan, the world?s first nursing home for retired opera singers, founded by composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1896. In his documentary film Tosc... more »a?s Kiss, Swiss director Daniel Schmid has captured a world in which these wonderful singers (many of whom had significant careers on the opera stage) re-live and re-enact their triumphant roles of the glorious past. Tosca?s Kiss is a touching and often hilarious film on the subject of aging and the power and timeless capacity of music to inspire. New to the DVD format, this film has developed an underground cult following over the years and is a favorite among opera and music lovers worldwide.« less
"The characters are real. The lives they once shared were first class. Their passion for, and love of, opera and musical art lives strong in their hearts, their voices and their everyday selves. It's an honor to listen to their stories, to hear their voices strong as ever, and to experience the love for musical expression they shared with the world so long ago, and still do in this film. This movie is worthy of inclusion in the best operatic collections!"
singer | 01/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A warm, bitter-sweet documentary. You have to watch it if you are a singer, you should watch it if you wish to understand what being a singer is about. This Masterpiece doesn't ignore the difficulties and eccentricities of the inhabitants of this old musicians' home but it shows them with a lot of respect and love. You will have to shed a tear at moments, laugh in amazement at others. The extras are good as well: an interesting interview with the director and audio tracks from a 1948 recording of one of the main characters. Highly recommended!"
Vissi d'arte incarnate!
Music Lover 714 | Southern California, USA | 03/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stumbling across this film, made in 1984 by Daniel Schmid, justifies my Netflix bill for an entire year. In today's youth-obsessed culture, where we are eager to shower even the least talented with untold wealth, it is poignant to see artists who have given their very lives for music enduring retirement at Casa di Riposo Verdi in Milan. But enduring on their own terms - you cannot hold an opera stage without a supreme sense of self. Their daily world is full of music and reminiscences of past glories.
There are so many bittersweet moments in the film: Giuseppe Manachini proudly displaying his worn costumes that spark his memory; Sara Scuderi raptly listening to a 1940's recording of herself as Tosca; Giovanni Puligheddu proffering his musical credentials; Leonida Bellon encountering Scuderi in a hallway and launching into Act II of Tosca, in the end receiving "il bacio di Tosca". The Casa Verdi staff, happily and humorously, treat these histrionics as normal behavior.
Shamefully, I know nothing about any of these musicians who shared the stage with such giants as Callas, Gigli, and Simionato, but you only have to witness Scuderi's snatches of Vissi d'arte, in a remarkably preserved voice, to realize the individuality and personality of her Tosca - and that she is no "povera donna, sola, abbandonata in questo popoloso deserto"; Floria is always with her. Maybe not a bad retirement after all."
For opera fans a MUST, for those with memories a treat
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 10/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who wants to see a film about old people? asks director Daniel Schmid in a special feature to the DVD "Tosca's Kiss" on EMI label (7243 5 99785 9). Well, if those old people are retired opera stars living at the Casa Verdi, founded especially for them and those like them, you have a lovely 87-minute film that shows their daily lives, still devoted entirely to opera and sharing their memories. Also sharing their voices, many of which have lasted surprisingly well down through the years.
Chief among the old-timers at the foundation is soprano Sara Scuderi, sort of a queen bee as it seems, whose presence ties the film together. Anyone interested in opera MUST see this, anyone who simply likes to watch senior citizens refusing to go gently into that good night should see this.
I read on the back that there are three CD tracks and some DVD-ROM features--most annoying to those without personal computers and those with them but without the required programs-but I could not bring up either of them after having some Adobe Acrobat software and some DVD-reading hardware installed at great expense. A bad direction for companies to take just to save some paper. But even without those elusive extras, this film is certainly worth the seeing.
Aging bodies and timeless passion
David Elliott | Sacramento, CA | 05/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unforgettable! Opera lovers and newcomers alike will appreciate the profound humanity of this documentary. Set in the Milanese retirement home for Italian musicians that was founded and funded by the composer, Giuseppe Verdi, we are drawn immediately into the recollections, the nostalgia, and the surprising vitality of these former performers. Their love for their art has not lessened in the least, even as their ability to serve it has been touchingly diminished. An extraordinarily intimate look at aging bodies and timeless passion. (I've shared brief scenes from this in opera outreach presentations, and attendees have wept, laughed, and burst into spontaneous applause!)"