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The Master of Hummable Tunes

From “Prizzi’s Honor” to “Fatal Attraction,” Puccini seems to be a favorite of filmmakers as well as of the general public. “Puccini’s music is easy to like,” suggests Larry Rappaport, owner of the Opera Shop on Beverly Boulevard. “It has hummable tunes.”

The Angel CD “The Movies Go to the Opera,” which was on the Billboard charts for nearly a year, seems to prove his point: Women were swept off to see “La Boheme” in “Moonstruck” and to “Manon Lescaut” in “Hannah and Her Sisters.” A young English woman was courted to Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” and “La Rondine” in “A Room With a View,” while “Turandot” played through a key scene in “The Witches of Eastwick.”

In “Fatal Attraction,” “Madama Butterfly” could almost be read as a leitmotif. The favorite opera of both editor Alex and lawyer Dan, it is on the record player at the start of their affair. And when Alex is abandoned, pregnant just as Butterfly was, she sits switching a light on and off to strains of “con onor muore, " from Butterfly’s death scene.


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