Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I am a die hard Tintin fan and I can prove it. Look at the photo below to see the main characters in that Belgium/French world famous bandes dessinées. I have the entire cast and all the books of Tintin in my collection and many books about Tintin. Of course I wanted to see what the latest Tintin movie is about. Based on the series of books by Hergé, the film is produced by Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy. This is a big budget movie estimated at a cost of US $ 130 Millions that recently opened in the Czech Republic on 23 October 2011. This 3D motion-capture and CGI extravaganza cleverly combines three of Tintin's original stories: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure (Le Crabe aux Pinces d'Or, Le Secret de la Licorne and Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge.) If you watch the film, which I think is very good, you can see from the mascots on my photo that Spielberg and Co. have done a very good job. The computer rendering of all of Hergé's (that's his way to nickname himself from his real name Georges Rémi, from the French pronunciation of his initials) characters is amazingly well done. To the right in the photo is the diva Bianca Castafiore. From the comic books (I really prefer their real name of "bandes dessinées") you know that she is a soprano whose voice is feared of being able to shatter glass but that never actually happened in the books. Instead, her singing voice was the terror for Captain Haddock and Tintin's dog Snowy (Milou.) The film worked that into its own story and Ms. Castafiore was given the job to shatter the glass container of the model boat named Licorne with the high note at the end of her recital.

This naturally involves operatic work again. In all of Tintin's books, Ms. Castafiore always and only sang one song: Gounod's Jewel Song from his opera Faust: Ah! Je Ris... I was looking forward to that scene in the movie but was surprised to see that a different opera was used. The song you hear is "Je Veux Vivre" sung by American soprano Renée Fleming. That song is known as "Juliet's Waltz" from the opera Roméo et Juliette, also by Gounod. To even confuse the viewers more, John Williams opened the diva's singing scene with music from Rossini's The Barber of Seville! My guess is that "Je Veux Vivre"'s climatic ending has a higher note than that of the "Jewel Song" and that is more realistic of it shattering all the glasses in the audience. Since it's always nice to know what they are singing about, the French lyrics are below... with translation for you.

If you like this, go see the movie and get to know Tintin. Spielberg and Co. will be producing at least two more Tintin movies that will come along in the future.

Gounod: Roméo et Juliette

Je Veux Vivre (Juliet's Waltz)

Ah! Je Veux Vivre.... Ah! I want to live
dans ce rêve qui m'enivre.... in the dream that intoxicates me
ce jour encore. .... this day again
Douce flamme.... Sweet flame
je te garde dans mon âme.... I keep you in my soul
comme un trésor. .... like a treasure.

Cette ivresse.... This drunkenness
de jeunesse.... of youth
ne dure, hélas, qu'un jour.... lasts, alas, but a day
puis vient l'heure.... then comes the hour
où l'on pleure.... when one weeps
le coeur cède a l'amour.... the heart yields to love
et le bonheur fuit sans retour. .... and happiness escapes without returning.

Je veux vivre.... I want to live
loin de l'hiver morose.... far from that sullen winter
laisse-moi sommeiller.... let me linger and rest
et respirer la rose.... and breath the rose
avant de l'effeuiller. .... before stripping it of its petals

Ahhhh ahhh ahhh

Douce flamme.... Sweet flame
reste dans mon âme.... stay in my soul
comme un doux trésor.... like a precious treasure
longtemps encore. .... a long while still.

In the clip you see by clicking on the photo below, Tintin and Capitain Haddock followed the trail to the third model of the Unicorn that contains the third parchemin to the treasure of Red Rackham. The arch-villain Ivanovich Sakharine has a plan to shatter the glass container protecting that boat and grab the parchemin.

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