Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Based on a novel by the exiled German writer Heinrich Mann, Belcanto forsakes the normal conception of a plot and unfolds instead as a series of three separate expressions of the beginning, middle, and end of an elaborate and elegant party. In the first segment, the idea of an opera is suggested when businessmen and artists are brought together by the manager of an opera house for an evening's festivities. What could more logically follow then, than a full-fledged opera (arranged by Wolfgang Woelfer) as the second part of the film. The opera itself is sung by the people at the manager's party. In the last segment, the party has come to an end and the guests all leave. Throughout the many scenes of the festivities, the actors pose against various backdrops and basically mime the meaning of what is being said or sung. Unlike the movie, the book has a plot that may help to explain all this to the unwashed.
artist, manager, opera, party