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Aria ★★ 1988 (R)

Ten directors were given carte blanche to interpret ten arias from well-known operas. Henry and D'Angelo star in Julian Temple's rendition of Verdi's “Rigoletto.” In Fonda's film debut, she and her lover travel to Las Vegas and eventually kill themselves in the bathtub, just like “Romeo & Juliet.” Jarman's piece (a highlight) shows an aged operatic star at her last performance remembering an early love affair. “I Pagliacci” is the one aria in which the director took his interpretation in a straightforward manner. 90m/C VHS, DVD . GB Theresa Russell, Anita Morris, Bridget Fonda, Beverly D'Angelo, Buck Henry, John Hurt; D: Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, Robert Altman, Bill Bryden, Jean-Luc Godard, Bruce Beresford, Nicolas Roeg, Franc Roddam, Derek Jarman, Julien Temple; W: Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, Robert Altman, Bill Bryden, Jean-Luc Godard, Bruce Beresford, Nicolas Roeg, Franc Roddam, Derek Jarman, Julien Temple; C: Caroline Champetier, Oliver Stapleton, Gale Tattersall.

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aria (It.). Air. From the time of A. Scarlatti in the 18th cent. onwards this has had the definite implication of a more or less lengthy and well- developed solo vocal piece in ABA form normally called a da capo aria. The singer was expected to add ornaments in the repeated A section. The 19th-cent. operatic aria became more elaborate and complex. Arias used to be rather minutely classified as (a) aria cantabile, slow and smooth; (b) aria di portamento, in long notes and dignified, to be sung in legato style; (c) aria di mezzo carattere, more passionate and with often elaborate orch. acc.; (d) aria parlante, declamatory; (e) aria di bravura (or d'agilità, or d'abilità), requiring great v.-control; (f) aria all'unisono, with acc. in unison or octaves with the vocal part; (g) aria d'imitazione, imitative of bird-song, hunting hns., etc.; (h) aria concertata with elaborate acc.; and so on.

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a·ri·a / ˈärēə/ • n. Mus. a long, accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.

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aria Solo song with instrumental accompaniment, or a lyrical instrumental piece. An important element of operas, cantatas and oratorios, the aria form originated in the 17th century.

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aria XVIII. — It. See AIR.

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