Town Hall Theater will show the hilarious documentary “Tosca’s Kiss” on Friday, June 19 at 7pm. Meet the inhabitants of the “Casa di Riposa” in Milan, the world’s first nursing home for retired opera singers, founded by composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1896.
This documentary film has developed an underground cult following over the years and is a favorite among opera and music lovers worldwide. Director Daniel Schmid has captured a world in which these wonderful singers (many of whom had significant careers on the opera stage) re-live and re-enact their triumphant roles of the glorious past.
“You don’t have to love opera to love this film,” says Executive Director Doug Anderson. “The people are entertaining on their own. Their competitiveness, eccentricities, and larger-than-life personalities make them fantastic subjects for this engaging and loveable film.”
Verdi intended the Casa di Riposa as a home for musicians, in particular of course for those of the opera, who “were less fortunate in life than I and who were not endowed with the gift of thrift.” He laid down in his will that all his royalties were to go to the Giuseppe Verdi Foundation and thus to the old people’s home.
Since its opening on Oct. 10, 1902, the birthday of the composer who had died the previous year, more than 1,000 composers, conductors, musicians and singers have found a home there. The regulations for admission follow the hierarchy of the opera itself: first composers are offered a room, then conductors, and then down the ranks, ending with members of the chorus.
“Tosca’s Kiss” is a touching and often hilarious film on the subject of aging and the power and timeless capacity of music to inspire.
The box office, located at 68 S. Pleasant St in Middlebury, is open Monday-Saturday 12 noon- 5pm. Call (802) 382-9222 for tickets or visit www.townhalltheater.org.