(La Classe d’opéra)
Runtime: 35 min
National Film Board of Canada
This docudrama, similar in approach to several other NFB films of the postwar period, centres on a young woman, Marie Burton (Marguerite Gignac), training at the Royal Conservatory of Music to become an opera singer. The film follows her through the course of three years and ends with her rehearsing and performing portions of The Marriage of Figaro.
Despite some uneven comic pacing, the film is generally deftly handled. After enjoying a wide release, it went on to win a Canadian Film Award for best theatrical short in 1952 and a BAFTA for best documentary in 1953. Together with other films of the period that focus on music and theatre – most notably Parker’s 1953 film A Musician in the Family – it reflects a growing concern at the time for Canadian art and culture.