This is 25 years old yet could have been made today. It has an ageless quality about it that tends to reflect the era it was made about and not the era it was made in. A rare achievement indeed. The story is somewhat predictable and a bit too twee but stranger things do happen in real life. You can forgive all sins once you start watching, it's rich and the music is fantastic, opera lover or not.
It's rare that one comes across a movie as close to perfection as "The Music Teacher". Superb cinematography, exquisite costumes and setting, enormously appealing characters and a delightful storyline. And the singing! I'm not a particular fan of opera, although my wife is, but both of us were completely enthralled by the magnificent voices and the choice of music. An absolute delight.
If you like delectable morsels of beautiful operatic arias and lieder by Mozart, Bellini, Mahler, Offenbach, Puccini, Schubert and Schumann this vibrant early 20th century period piece is a treat. The leisurely moving plot involving a love story, singing lessons and a competition has been around in other guises before; it’s not too plausible and the endings are expected. The villains aren’t hard to spot and their lack of subtlety is a hoot. An absolute highlight for me was the soprano voice of lovely Sophia (sung by Dinah Bryant) opening the contest with Verdi’s “Sempre libera” (La Traviata). She is unexpectedly joined in a duet by her offstage beau and fellow protégée Jean (sung by Jerome Pruett). Worth selecting for the music and settings.
The teacher chooses not to to fall in love with the beautiful female protege (noble), he turns a street thief into a great tenor (a bit far fetched), the female protege falls for the tenor (very far fetched), and they both win the competition (surprise?). Not very deep. The singing was good.
If you love opera, then you are likely to enjoy this gentle, genteel story.