Casta diva (1954) - full transcript

As soon as he graduated from the Naples Conservatory, Vincenzo Bellini meets Maddalena Fumaroli and immediately falls in love with her. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
This evening 18 April 1819 in the presence
of H.M. Ferdinando I King of Naples

will see in concert the celebrated violinist

Bravo, Paganini!


In the second box,
to the right of the stage

is a student from the conservatory.

I want him here right away.
- But the King...

I won't go back to the hall without
talking to the boy. - The public...

I won't go back
without talking to him. Go!

Come in.

Close the door.

I saw you during the concert.
And I observed you well.

No gesture, no applause.
You did nothing but laugh.

May I know why?

You will say I'm like a hysterical
prima donna. Well, I am.

I need support, applause.

I won't tolerate anyone not paying
attention, certainly not laughing.

I wasn't laughing at you.
- Then at whom?

It wouldn't interest you.

This is why I called you.

Come, speak.

I laughed at myself.

At you?
- Yes, me.

I too compose.

I already believed myself a Rossini.

Today your violin made me
understand what great music is.

And thinking of my scribbles
I could not help but laugh.

In public it is bad to cry.

That's it.

My respects, maestro.

No one admires you more than I do.

Young man, your name?

Vincenzo Bellini.

Vincenzo Bellini.

This, my dear students

is our day of farewell,

when you will leave us
to return to your homes

to start a career that
we wish for everyone will be

bright and shining.

Those who have passed
their exams with flying colours,

as well as those who need

a paternal box round the ears.

Why should you worry?

The school year opens...

with an invitation to study and
ends with an invitation to lunch.

But it is an ancient custom

in these circumstances,
that the students eat little

but on the other hand, make much music
And not the other way round.

Why should you worry?

Carlo Zapponi, you will go
to Prince Carafa.

And you?

I make a wish
to meet Baroness De Vico.

They say she has three beautiful
and even approachable daughters.

Raffaele Saverio Mercadante.
You to the museum director's house.

Damn, he's a vegetarian.

Domenico Fiorillo.

You, the first judge of the civil court,
His Excellency Fumaroli.

To the house of the first judge,
he who is the last student...

Try to be honorable.

Vincenzo Bellini.

You will go to lunch
with Baroness De Vico.

You are a friend?
- I don't have a penny.

No, not money. If you're a friend,
we swap. You go to Judge Fumaroli...

And you at the Baroness
with "the three graces". Right?

Yes. I dreamed of them.
Are you a friend or not?

Agreed. - You're a brother.
Then I'll tell you everything.

I'm sure it will be extraordinary.
Me, the only male.


Go away.

My daughter Maddalena
begs you to excuse her,

unfortunately she is not well.

Poor thing.
- Nothing serious, I hope.

Do you like this
delicious radish puree?

I love it.
- Bravo, young man.

And to think that Epicurus said
the root principle

of every good is
the pleasure of the belly.

Epicurus blasphemed.
- Yeah.

Denying the privilege of giving
true pleasures to the heart.

Great pleasures.

Onion juice?
- I'm crazy about it.

Aren't you Neapolitan?

No, I'm from Sicily, from Catania.

Ah. And did you come
to Naples to study music?

A friend of mine went
to Paris to study surgery.

This I admit.

But music is something
that doesn't suit me at all.

I don't understand it.

I will seem a heretic, but...
what's the use? - Of music?

What purpose does it serve?
To strengthen character?

To direct the individual towards
the solution of human problems?

I think that with the times as they are
there's a need for soldiers...

men of science, legislators.

Music is an art.

And with more love for art,
soldiers and the courts would work less.

Even my daughter thinks so.

But I confess that every time
Maddalena drags me

to a concert or an opera,
I regularly fall asleep.

You are a magistrate, Excellency.

If during a trial you
happened to fall asleep

would you condemn the accused?

Well, no.

If in doubt, I'd absolve.

So, it also absolves the musicians.

You I will absolve
for lack of proof.

Please, if you'll allow, I'd like to bring
another test against music on the piano.

Please do.
Take a seat.

Close the doors.

His Excellency apologizes,
but the young lady is ill.

Perhaps the music
could disturb her.

I don't believe it.

Thank you for the beautiful music

Radishes, onions, carrots.

How disgusting, It will take me
a week of steaks to recover.

Here's Fiorillo.
- We'll hear from Don Juan.

And the three sisters?
How did it go?

My boys.
- Tell us.

Impossible, I'm a gentleman.

Tell all.
- A gentleman.

Don't keep us waiting.


We'll begin by saying
that the mother wasn't there.

I alone with the girls.

Speak up.

It went well.

I admit to being lucky with women,
but now all three.

- Of everything.

Here's Bellini.
Vincenzo, come here.

How did it go?

It looks like you missed
a good deal by swapping over.

You know, with those three girls.

There was a girl there too.
- And how was she?

Was she beautiful.
- Lucky you.

I barely saw her.

For a moment I thought
she wasn't really there...

but a kind of apparition.

A wonderful dream.

Brunette or blonde,
the dream creature?

And how old was he?

Her eyes were...

I can't describe them.

There was so much sadness
in those beautiful eyes.

And a mute resignation.
- You're a poet.

If I really were a poet, perhaps, I would
find the right words to describe her look.

Or a painter.

Yes, a painter would know...

They were the most beautiful
eyes I've ever seen.

Chaste eyes.


Good morning.

Maybe I left some sheets
in the music room on the piano.

Ask His Excellency...

His Excellency is in court, but I've not
seen anything on the piano. I'll ask.

And Miss Maddalena?
- Miss is resting.

I'm so sorry,
but they haven't found anything.

It doesn't matter.

Who knows where
I left those sheets.

Thank you.

Thank you.
What is it, a madrigal?

It's your portrait, miss.
- A musical portrait?

I tried to render in notes
what my eyes saw.

It's up to you to tell me
if I've succeeded.

I can say that
this music is very beautiful.

If you like it, it belongs to you.
You alone. I don't even have a copy.

But why?

It's a song that
could have great success.

If you want to keep it with you,
I think this is already a great success.

But you should make a copy,
it's such a nice motif.

It's your portrait.

And I will always have it with me.

It's enough to remember your eyes.

Miss Maddalena?

Mr. Tosi has arrived.

I'll be right there.

He is my fiance.

I have to leave you. Excuse me.

Luckily I could get back
earlier than expected.

Soon I have to take care
of the King's birthday celebrations.

But I would like to busy myself...

also with you.

Ah, you're here.

When do you leave?
- There's a boat to Palermo in four hours.

And Maddalena?

What do you care?
- You're not leaving, it's running away.

If you don't run away,
I'll throw a shoe at you.

Throw a pair,
I'll have them for a keepsake.

We're leaving without greeting
poor Fiorillo who's staying in Naples?

Later in the yard,
hugs and tears.

I'll take this
handkerchief to dry them.

It is not a handkerchief, but a towel.
- I know, but how I cry.

And you, leaving nothing
for an abandoned friend?

- This shirt, for example.

Can't you see it's too small? - The bonds
of our friendship will be all the tighter.

Guys, big things in sight.
An order has arrived.

A conservatory student has been chosen
for a concert in honour of the King.

Who is it? - You ask?
You leave, I stay...

For the King of Naples he will be
one of Naples and I am from here.

Where is Bellini?

Bellini? In his room.

One of Naples, eh?

The King no longer protects his subjects.

Long live the Republic.

Secretary Tosi sent for me.
- Come with me.

Maestro Vincenzo Bellini.


Last Sunday you were invited

by His Excellency Fumaroli.
- Yes, sir.

The Rector will have explained.
- Yes.

On the occasion of the birthday
of His Majesty the King

there will be at
the San Carlo theatre...

How do you say?

I'm not familiar with it.

Ah, a cantata.

His Majesty wants the author to
be a student of the conservatory.

And they turned to me.
I chose you.

A magnificent opportunity,
as you see.

Let the others in.

Captain Artoso... Captain Nobile.

I'll inform you because you'll
meet with the master of ceremonies.

Good morning.

You may go.

Excuse me, Mr. Secretary.

I cannot accept.
- What's that?

You should choose a friend of mine.

Mercadante or Fiorillo.

I've already decided to leave and...

Can't you postpone your departure?

I have no reason to stay.

But you realize what this offer means
to a young composer?

The King, the aristocracy, the court.

I know and I am grateful
for the honor done to me...

but I really cannot.

If there has ever been a young artist
who doesn't want to become famous...

there he is.

They offer him an great orchestra...

a singer like Giuditta Pasta,
a King among the spectators

and he refuses.

He is a happy man who, to be someone,
has no need to either command or obey.

So you say.

No, Goethe.

Forgive me.

I want to be a teacher
in my city, like my father.

I have no other ambition.

But you're crazy.

You'd be famous
in a single day.

It's a risk that
I do not want to run.

My thanks.



Get back, you wretch.

Perhaps you don't know
that soon Peppone will test

a cargo of new,
true, genuine wine?

- Yes, sir.

And even if you don't appreciate it
it will be too late.

Let's go to Peppone Catorio.

Pizza, wine and panzerotto.
- At unbeatable prices.

It is also exquisite.
Plenty of room.

And quality out of this world.

To your good heart,
gentlemen, thank you.

Who doesn't want to go
to Peppone Catorio

make a small contribution.

Everything is accepted,
even the smallest coin. No offence.

Ladies and ladies, I beg you.

Pretty lady, here I am.

Thank you.


Did you speak with Tosi?

But how, did you know?

Tosi doesn't understand much about
music and musicians. We must help him.

It was you?

Did he give you the job?
I'm so happy.

Your name will be
on everyone's lips.

And I will hear it
as a distant thing.

You will be distant too,
but this will be enough...

Will be enough?

To finally be happy.

Why, aren't you happy?

Please announce me again to Mr. Tosi.
- Follow me.

It's a wonderful audience,
all the greatest names of Naples.

And you wanted to give it up?
- Thank you.

Not just me,
above all Miss Fumaroli.

We have worked hard for
the success of the festivities.


In the second box on the right
the Prince of Asturias.

In the third box the superintendent
of the Vienna Opera.

In the stalls, in the centre,
Paisiello with Zingarelli.

Yes, I see.

Prince Ruffo is standing
with the Countess Colonna.

Now come with me.

Come in.
The champagne.

Dear Tosi.

More and more beautiful.
- Thank you.

I present to the greatest
singer in the world

the youngest musician
in the kingdom of Naples.

I wouldn't say only the youngest.
- Also the most excited.

I didn't mean that.

But I don't want to excite you
even more, so I'll be quiet.

To your success.
- To ours.

I am sure that this evening
will prove to be a great success.

She said the same to Donizetti.
Her predictions are always correct.

Because I do not wait for them
to be realized on their own.

The gossips say that the door to success
and the one to my room have the same key.

For young musicians
who have talent and beauty.

And I let it be said.

But you shouldn't.
- Why not? Isn't it true.

Now, enough joking.

You are very talented.

I've renewed my contract
with La Scala in Milan.

I would like an opera
written for me by you.

Thank you, but I don't know
if I'll be up to it.

The King has arrived,
I have to go to him.

Best wishes for tonight.

Thank you.
- And for the future.

I await an answer for my opera.
Don't let me wait too long.

Come and see me when you want,
you will always be welcome.

These Milanese customs.
Even flying pigeons now.

What nonsense,
there's a cage in every box.

Poor beasts,
even they are victims of the music.

I saw His Majesty. I announced
your engagement with Tosi.

He said: "When is the wedding?"

Dad, I...
- You'll have to decide.

The King thinks very highly
of this marriage.

Ah, it's starting.

I'm leaving, all this noise,
I can't stand it.

You don't want me, eh?



It's your music that's...
that's so moving.

But I don't want you to be unhappy.
What can I do for you?

I love you.

When I composed that music
I already loved you.

Maddalena, do you want to marry me?

Do you want to come with me
to Catania to my father's?

Being the wife of
a modest singing teacher?

But do you know what that means to you?
Not for me.

I know that nothing else matters.

But your success?
- Success?

Yes, the first one.

Then you belong to the others.
To those who applauded you.

To the public, the critics,
the impresarios.

You are no longer
master of your own life. No...

I don't want to be
a slave to live with you.

Would you sacrifice this
magnificent future for me?

No, it is you who will have
to give up your family.

Your rank, your brilliant life.

I won't lose anything
because I've nothing to lose.

Nothing worth a life with you,
my love.


This is for tomorrow's lunch.
Music must feed me.

Tell me it's not true.

Tell me it's not true.
- What's not true?

That you refused to go
to Milan with Giuditta Pasta.

That's right.
- Oh heaven's above!

Why not watch over this reckless lad?

Where are you going?
- To Catania.

To Catania? Going to Catania.
Not alone, right? With Maddalena.

Give me that stuff.

And Tosi?
- Maddalena will speak to him frankly.

And this?

Where is it from?
- From the theatre, I couldn't kill it.

It's in memory of your first success
and perhaps the last.

Maddalena, what a nice surprise.

Please, take a seat.

Gentlemen, we've no money.

But it's an old bill.

Invoices are like wines. The longer
we leave them the better they become.

Thank you, gentlemen.

You find me happy, but surprised.
You're not often at the palace.

I must talk to you.
- May I? - What is it?

Miss Giuditta Pasta.

Already, leaving
and come to greet me.

The royal theatre depends on me.

Good morning.

Please, take a seat.
- Thank you.

As you can see
it's time for farewells.

Good morning.

Since yesterday
it's all taking leave.

And Bellini?
- Nothing to be done with him.

He doesn't want to know,
neither theatre nor Milan.

I was ready to bet
he would become a great composer.

On the same level as
Rossini and Donizetti.

Maybe you exaggerate.
- No, I'm an expert.

He's a strange boy.

It was you, miss...
who made his name?

I had heard some of
his music and it seemed...

Well then, I'm not alone
in believing in that boy.

Why don't you try
to talk to him?

- Yes, of course.

He mustn't go to Catania
to teach singing.

We have thousands
of singing teachers.

Listen to me.
Try to convince him.

It would be a crime, believe me.

But if he has decided
what I can do?

Mm, decided.

I'm sure there's
something behind it.

A woman.
Some little woman.

That waits in Catania.
That will bake him a cake

for when he comes home in the
evening after giving singing lessons

to the barber and
the police sergeant.

Oh no, we mustn't allow it.

If I have the chance to see him,
I'll speak to him about it. - Good.

Bravo. If you succeed, Bellini
will be grateful to you forever.

Goodbye, my dear.
And best wishes for both of you.

Have a good trip and see you soon.

Well, what did you want?
- Nothing.

Nothing important.

I have done something I should not have.
I have long thought about our plans

and my courage has failed me.
Do not wait for me and forgive me.


- Miss Maddalena.

Miss has left.
- No.

This morning, for Amalfi.

Thank you.

We're awaiting your approval.
Is the cover alright?

Did you decide this change?
- Sure.

What is it, Antonio?
- Maestro Donizetti's here.

I'll deliver them in five days
ninety copies.

Ninety copies fine,
but in four days.

Take the orchestration to Maestro Soria.
and say I want to see him here tomorrow.

Very good.
- You may go.

Thank you, ma'am.
Good morning.

How are you? Back already?

The money is finished
before the desire to travel.

You've something to offer me?
- Yes.

Give me an advance,
then I'll write you a masterpiece.

I've come back from France
completely broke.

How much do you need?

Fifty scudi.

Madam, your husband.
- Oh, darling.

Excuse me.

Come on, say hello to mum.

Maestro Donizetti, welcome back.
- Thank you.

Are you busy?
- I've Donizetti to deal with.

Hurry and take the children to school.
- Mummy... - Don't bother mummy.

Let's go. - Children, I warn you
don't annoy dad.

Don't worry.
Goodbye, Maestro.

What's for lunch today?

There is... You'll see.

What a dear little man.
Takes care of the family all alone.

The children lack for nothing.

Supervises their meals,
takes care of their clothes.

What would you like?

To be adopted.

Yes, an advance.

I'm sorry, at the moment
we're a bit short.

I gave a hundred scudi to a colleague this
very morning. - A fine colleague, who is he?

Vincenzo Bellini.
Do you know him?

Yes, I've heard about him.

Milan is full of these Southerners.
- He took advantage of your absence.

They say he'll be tomorrow's composer.
- But he's taken the money today.

I'll go to Barbaja,
I'm full of debt.

Come back in a couple of days.

If they don't arrest me first.

Dear Donizetti, I'm very sorry, but next
season's billing at La Scala is complete.

Just yesterday I settled with Bellini
for his new opera "The Pirate".

Thank you all the same.

- Nothing, he's engaged someone else.

- Vincenzo Bellini.

- Maestro, welcome back.

Hello, Salvatore.
Announce me to Signora Giuditta.

But she left.
- She's just arrived.

Yes, but she left again this morning.
- With whom?

"With whom" Maestro?
- I mean, alone?

No, with a young man
who works in the theatre, a new one.

Don't tell me he's called Bellini.

Is it Bellini?
- Yes, Maestro.

Am I disturbing you?
- It's late?

Yes, very late.

But you never think of me.

You're locked up here
for hours and hours.

I've lost all sense of time.

Which means that
you didn't miss me.

Not too much, right?

Everything is too much with you.

You have too much charm, too much talent.
Take too little notice of me.

I love you too much
and you work too much.

It's to not disappoint you.

Do you think that could happen?
- No, don't worry.

You'll see how you'll like my work.

I want the echo of applause
to reach Naples.

You don't want to disappoint me
and think only of your music.

You've changed a lot,
in so little time.

You pursue success with an insistence
I thought you incapable of.

It's the only way to get it.
In general it's the same for everything.

It can't be said that
I've never been persistent,

yet I'm not sure
I've conquered your love.

You must insist.

Don't you think
you value yourself too highly?

No, it's you that value me too highly.

I'll never be able to repay you
for everything you've done for me.

How strange.

Everyone struggles to achieve success,
but you are different.

It seems you want the glory
to throw it in someone's face.

I would like you
less acute and more happy.

No, my dear, I want to stay young.
Nothing ages more than happiness.

Nice starting point
for a musical motif.

Tiredness of happiness,
strength of pain.

"Tears, elixir of youth."

You would sing it very well. Really.

And I want to write it now,
it will be easy for me.

Will you let me work?


What do you say?

What's wrong? Why so glum.
Didn't you like it?

I'm glum because I did like it.
That Sicilian knows his stuff.

Are you coming too?
- Where?

We're celebrate the success
at Signora Monte's house.

Will Bellini be there?
- Isn't it his opera.

I'll come then.

I was sure The Pirate
would be a great success.

You already knew it?

No, but I saw Bellini.
He's so handsome.

Good evening, Maestro Bellini.

Won't to play us something?
- I've no music handy.

I'm still a newcomer.
- No, you're a musician who has arrived.

You've already learned to be asked.

Enough of this music,
tonight we've had too much.

Instead if you want to have
a little something to eat, take a seat.

Please, gentlemen.

Look, let's hurry because tomorrow
I have to get up early.

I want to purge Peppino.

But didn't you purge him yesterday?
- No, yesterday was Giovanni.

My friends, I've brought
the bear out of his den.

Dear Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti
is amazed at your talent.

Thank you, Maestro.

Amazement increased by your
charming, youthful appearance.

You embarrass me.

I should have expected it.
- Why?

Don't tell me it was difficult
for her to perform your first piece.

I don't understand.
- Mme Giuditta understands only too well.

After all, as they say the door
to her room... - You offend me!

Just joking.

I never expected so much coarseness
from a man like you.

But he's renowned for his coarseness.
- Certainly. - Don't expose yourself.

Impetuous. - That's enough!
Not a word more.

A challenge?
- Enough.

Stop this now.

I won't allow you to compromise
yourself because of me.

Donizetti's frankness prevents me
from hiding the reason for this scene.

I'm sorry, because I had the same estimation
for you that I now have for Bellini.

Show that you deserve it.
Apologise to him.

And who'll apologise to me?
- I am.

I have a proposal.

The Carcano theatre has been
closed for a year and has no program.

It will be the battleground of
the two adversaries. - Bravo, Barbaja.

A musical duel.
- Yes.

And it will be the public
who give the verdict.

Here are the conditions. The same
librettist, Felice Romani. - Agreed.

The same orchestra and interpreter.
- Of course.

And the weapons?
- The choice to the offended.

Bellini, what kind of work?

Perhaps the offended one is not me.

Thanks, I'll return the kindness.

I'll write a tearful work. Sorry, dramatic.
The kind to which you are so inclined.

And I will bring myself
to write a ridiculous work.

Excuse me, comedic, like the one
you've already written six times.


Yes, but with such different
titles, dear colleague.

And what will be the time limit?

Fifteen days.
- Not long.

Or too long.
- Sure.

The important thing is
not to think when composing, right?

Yeah, I must reread your works
to know how it shouldn't be done.

A musical duel between Donizetti and Bellini

The Milan newspapers
are interesting.

I brought you some
fashion sketches from Paris.

What a beautiful wedding dress.

You should order yours.

I recommend the first one,
it's so elegant.

They will work
very well here in Naples.

But you have to tell them
not to weave it like Penelope.

Surprise surprise, guess who?

The hands a chimp,
the voice a chicken.

It's Fiorillo.
- So that's how you welcome a friend?

How elegant you are.

Business going well?
- Even I'm starting to succeed.

Good contract?
- Rich contracts.

I also struggle with notes all day,
but notes to be collected.

My dear, orange exporter.

- Yes.

My name is on everyone's lips,
"Fiorillo oranges".

You'll see that the little English
will say "Fiorillo" before "Bellini".

After all, the sweetness of my oranges
is no less than your music.

Stay a while. - Impossible. I popped in
to say hello, but I'm leaving for Naples.

OK. And what news of friends?

Mercadante makes progress.

He's teaching Rossini a thing or two.

At the table, naturally.
He has a fine appetite.

And then?
- And then nothing.

It's hot in Naples.

Here it's freezing.

She got married?
- Yes, that is, almost.

Next month.

After what she did to you
don't think about her any more? - No.

You see, no?
- You have Giuditta.

With a woman like that you're not alone.
- But I want to be.

You're a perfect friend,
but I won't keep you.

Loneliness fertilizes the artist,
as the old rector said. Remember?

Bye, Fiorillo.
Go and sell your oranges.

I'm selling pieces of my heart.

Musical pieces.
- Naturally.

Believe me, of us two you are
the one who's been more fortunate.


It's beautiful.




Bravo, Donizetti!


- Signora.

It's not good for a man
to cry in the street.

But I'm not crying.
- Yes, in your soul, and it shows.

It's silly when
one has your good fortune.

But tonight it left me.

My regards.
- No, sir.

Don't say good evening,
but apologize.

But for what?

Looking at me like that. It's unseemly.
- I assure you that...

I forbid you
to approach the carriage.

I'm beginning to understand.

If you try to get in I'll have you
whipped by the coachman.

If you persist, in your insolence
I'll have to call for help.

Let's go home.
- But he doesn't know my address.

But he knows mine.

I waited for you all night.

At the theatre first and then at home.
- That last night's triumph, I felt finished.

He won, he won in advance.

And you, in advance,
went to console yourself?

You're jealous?
- Jealous, me?

Don't hope for it, darling,
I'm proud.

Betrayed, but not humiliated.

In the evening of my success,
my lover must be with me.

No, Giuditta.

But last night I escaped.

Yes, into the arms of another.
- It doesn't matter.

But far from the applause
that was my defeat.

Far away from me that loves you.

And would I not have found
the words to console you?

Yes, but you leave me.

You're inflamed by another.

For whoever.

You're mistaken.
The woman I love is not just whoever.

What, do you defend her?
Do you love her so much?

I'll never hate her enough.
- I don't understand.

When I was still a boy...
- But... - Yes, in Naples.

She rejected me, deceived me.

So has she made me, a man without morality
without dreams, except to humiliate her.

She has killed in me
the trust and loyalty you deserve.

She has killed my music.

Why didn't you tell me this before?

You know I would understand.
- I tried to react, but it's useless.

I have no ideas,
I'm empty, dried up.

And I dared to challenge Donizetti.

And I deluded myself it was for me.

You were wrong, dear.


What have I written so far?
Cold music, without life.

Can't I help you anymore?

No, you've done as much as you could.

You see...
- Oh yes.

How unjust.

That's life.

Goodbye, Vincenzo.

Forgive me, if you can.

Good morning.
- Good morning.

Sorry if I disturbed you.

In fact, you saved me.
I was eating some really bad crayfish.

You don't want to invite me to the table?
- No, I don't need excuses.

Always the same.
- It's a compliment I can't reciprocate.

I didn't come to argue.

I know, you want something, but I hope
to humiliate you so you don't ask.

I can't be humiliated
any more than your rival has done.

There is nothing left between us,
but I still love him.

Will you sit down?

What's this about?
- His heart is who knows where.

He's left me.

We are poor abandoned people,
you and I.

That's why I came here.
- What did he do to you?

Speak, this time he'll pay.

No, we can't wish that of him,
he suffers too.

And then the fault...
- What is it?

Be honest, do you think highly of him?
- As a man, no.

Not as a musician either.

If anything I fear him.

I'm sure his work
will leave me breathless.

He's given up.

- Yes.

He's lost faith in himself
and let himself go.

I understand, but you have
to take him by force and I have none.

I've not finished eating yet.
We'll talk about that later.

You know, the prawns were the best.

Come, let's go and console them
for the wrong I've done.

You're crazy. Do you think
this stuff is to be thrown away?

If I were one for compliments

I'd tell you I'd never heard
anything more beautiful.

Do you believe me?
- Thank you.

It's Giuditta who's...

If you're drowning and thrown a rope
do you really care who made it?

Come, to work, it's stuff that
must be finished immediately.


How can you remain seated?
I'd be up and down like a pendulum.

I would too if I had
the strength to get up.

Your protege is making his name.

Allow me to go say hello
at the end of the performance?

Yes, but no invitations.

Tomorrow morning I must
be with the Governor.

Just a greeting, Dad.

May I?
- Come in, Maestro.

Are you happy? It's a triumph.
- Thank you, Giuditta.

I can't find the words. Thanks.

It's all because to you.
- No.

My greatest merit is that
I knew how to react.

Which I didn't.
- We are different, my dear.

I'm superficial, I throw everything
behind me and I start again.

Is it true you're leaving the theatre?

Did they tell you?
- Yes, but they're wrong.

Don't get it into your head
that I did for you.

I just need a rest.

Maybe one day I'll come back
to sing, let myself be convinced...

But not by you, though.
- Then by whom?

When I've found out
I'll let you know.

I hope he's better than me.

Maestro, there are admirers here.

Yes, they want the general.

Go now, fine soldier.

Maestro, finally.
- Congratulations.

You'll allow me?
I have precedence.

Let's go see Mrs Monti.


Did you see? Forget him.

This time too, dear Bellini,
things have gone badly.

I do believe that you'll have
to write me an opera for free.

You're lucky in love.

And you know something about it.

Excuse me.

- Vincenzo, old man.

What a marvelous triumph
and revenge for you...

To see her there in a box
subjugated by your music. - Who?

Who else? Maddalena.

Was she in the theatre?
- Haven't I told you.

But what do you want me to do?
- What's that?

Listen, I was a mediocre student
and music wasn't my forte

but I'm sure
I understand enough to know

that your pour into your works
Maddalena's love.

Each of your female character
sings Maddalena's love.

- Don't be clever with me.

You'd never have composed
the music that made you famous

if you didn't still love that girl
more than ever.

It's useless to look for other women,
as well you know.

You're amazing,
you reveal me to myself.

Come, it's too beautiful
an opportunity. - Leave it.

No, come.

You're not the only one to think so
and I want to show everyone you're wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Please listen to me.

You say that my music
speaks of my love for a woman.

No, it's not there, in fact,
you don't even know it.

You're ridiculous.
- I deny it's so and want to prove it.

Romani, you must write me
a strong, intense libretto.

A story without love,
without sentimental intrigue.

A ruthless drama.

Ruthless like life and men.

We'll see who's right.

It's not us you must convince,
but yourself.

I hope you'll succeed.

Do you know who was sitting there
in your place? Vincenzo Bellini.

I would also like to have his place
in the musical world.

Ah, certainly.

But how do you explain
this failure?

Norma? It is fatal
in the career of a musician.

There's been a lot of talk.

All agree the opera has surprised
the audience in its harshness.

Is it beautiful?
- Very.

But it's too distant
from previous models.

It's strange
the public are so conservative.

You miss a sweet romance
like Bellini knew how to compose

when he gave vent
to his romantic mood.

Is he no longer able to?

I don't know.

But they say he refused
to make changes.

Please, take a seat.

Thank you.

You're very pale.
- A little tired.

I won't waste too much of your time.
- I've so much since I retired.

Perhaps this is also why
Bellini's work was such a failure.

You have an excessive estimation
of my qualities.

The failure is not due
to my absence.

I wanted to be sure.

Look, I don't know if you...

if you can do something.

Read this romance.

There's more love in this music
than in anything else I have ever sung.

But in you comes even more.

Your sacrifice in Naples
that only now I understand.

Your silence.

And this trip now.

And to think that the fault is mine.

It was I that advised it.

To give him glory
I ruined Bellini.

And I ruined myself.

You want to save Norma.
I accept.

I'll go back on the stage.

I will sing this romance
that will move the audience.

Romani will write the verses.

Thank you.
Thank you so much.

But maybe he won't accept.

If possible, don't tell him anything.

No, he must know everything.

Donizetti was right,
he deserves a lesson.

Please, it could
compromise everything.

After I've left,
after the success.

Alright, after.

Do you promise?

Pure Goddess

Pure Goddess,
whose silver covers

These sacred ancient plants,

We turn to your lovely face

We turn to

your lovely face

unclouded and without veil...

Thou make reign

in the sky...

This applause,
this success, are not for me.

But the music is yours.

It's the most sincere, most inspired
music you have ever written.

And Maddalena knew
when she brought it.

It's strange how many things
that girl taught me.

Above all, she taught me
what true love is.

She taught me to despise myself.

Why? You're not guilty.

Everything seemed done on purpose to
deceive you. She forgave you immediately.

But I'll never forgive myself.
- You've time to make up for it.

It would take a lifetime.

No, it will be enough
to go back to her.

But right away.

Signora, the last act.


And it's me who's
pushing you towards another.

Your Excellence, we must be
prepared for anything.

It was that precipitous journey,
in full winter.

She was already so weakened.

She no longer has the strength to react.
- But then...



He's coming.

He's coming for sure.

I know it.

I sense it.

Soon he'll be here.


Do you hear?

The carriage is at the gate.

He's climbing the stairs.

He's at the door.


Vincenzo, dear.


Thank you for coming.

I have to tell you so many things.

I wanted to be
poor with you, Vincenzo.

I wanted to be happy with you.

But you had to be free...

for your music.

My love.

Now everything is over.

We'll be together...

for ever.

As you...



Subtitles: corvusalbus