Classical music at the movies: 10 great moments in film

Classical music and opera have a special role to play in these scenes.

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In Twilight, heartthrob vampire Edward plays Debussy's Clair de lune to lovestruck ingénue Bella. He could not have failed to impress, having had close to a century to perfect his piano technique. The fact that two teen idols are shown bonding over classical music in this epic PG-rated romance hammers home the fact that classical music really is the soundtrack to our lives, whether or not we can recognise the tunes or identify the composer. The protagonists in the ten films that follow all have profound experiences listening to or attending a performance of classical music.

Quantum of Solace ­(2008)
Puccini: Tosca

It’s nice to know that even an international man of mystery like James Bond takes opera and concert etiquette seriously. “I really think you people should find a better place to meet,” he chides the members of terrorist group Quantum when he catches them whispering and hissing their diabolical plot mid opera. And what a spectacular opera: Philipp Himmelmann’s Tosca at the spectacular open-air theatre in Bregenz, Austria, is a well-oiled machine as slick as one of Bond’s own high-tech gadgets, with its all-seeing eye, presiding over the stage, reminding us that 007 never misses a trick.

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Classical music at the movies: 10 great moments in film
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