Music teacher Dallayrac (Van Dam) is the Domingo of his day, a baritone who retires at the peak of his warbling to take on two pupils, the lovely Sophie and the earthy Jean. At his exquisite chateau he tunes the two of them relentlessly until they are great voices ready to take the stage for their first engagement, a competition hosted by the formidable Prince Scotti, patron of the arts and arch-enemy of Dallyrac.
With it's nomination for 1989's Best Foreign Film Oscar and numerous European awards under its belt, The Music Teacher settled firmly in the mainstream in the early nineties, a rarity for what is essentially a film all about opera.
Based on a story by Belgian director Corbiau, this lyrical tale of the underbelly of opera and the people who sing it is set in the early years of the 20th century. Operatically fraught with grandeur, passion, power and betrayal, The Music Teacher has some wonderfully melodic scenes dramatically orchestrated with extracts from Puccini, Verdi, Mahler, Mozart et al and has plenty of pep.
Quirky, if occasionally sluggish, human drama blessed with memorable singing throughout.