SFOpera - 9 Awesome Oscar Winning Films That Feature Opera

9 Awesome Oscar Winning Films That Feature Opera

With the Oscars fast approaching this weekend, we scoured the internet looking for Oscar winning films that use opera in their soundtracks. Below is a list of our favorites in no particular order. Enjoy!

The Age of Innocence

The 1993 adaptation of Edith Warton's novel of the same name, prominently features the Love Duet (Oui, c'est toi que j'aime) from Gounod's Faust. The Age of Innocence brought home the Oscar for Best Costume Design at the 66th Academy Awards.

Marie Antoinette

Sofia Coppola's historical drama received high praise for its soundtrack including many new wave hits from groups like New Order, Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants, Souxsie and the Banshees and more. To help set the time period of the film, and to contrast with the heavy use of 80s rock, the producers chose to feature Aux Langueurs D'Apollon from Rameau's Platee. Marie Antoinette won the Oscar for Best Costume Design at the 79th Academy Awards.

Raging Bull

The 1980 black and white sports drama, earned Robert De Niro an Academy Award for Best Actor and Thelma Schoonmaker the award for Best Film Editing. It also features the famous Intermezzo from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.

The Untouchables

This quintessential gangster movie earned Sean Connery the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Featured prominently in Connery's death scene is the incomparable lament of Pagliacci, Vesti la giubba. The following clip contains violent imagery that may be disturbing to some viewers.

Life is Beautiful

This Italian comedy-drama earned director and star, Roberto Benigni Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Foreign Language Film. A cute operatic scene from the film shows Benigni's character enjoying a performance of the Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

Apocalypse Now

The Ride of the Valkyries is almost synonymous with Francis Ford Coppela's wartime epic, Apocalypse Now. While being nominated for 8 Academy Awards, Apocalypse Now only brought home the hardware for Best Sound and Best Film Editing. The following clip contains violent imagery that may be disturbing to some viewers.

View clip


Next on our list is the 1987 romantic comedy, Moonstruck. The lead role earned Cher the award for Best Actress (and the background on this blog!) and Olympia Dukakis the award for best supporting actress. The two clips below feature snippets of Che Gelida Manina from La Bohème and shows off Cher and Dukakis in their prime!


This heart wrenching drama about the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s won Tom Hanks the Academy Award for Best Actor. In one of the most famous scenes from the film, Hanks' character shares his love for opera with his lawyer (portrayed by Denzel Washington) while listening to a Maria Callas recording of La Momma Morta from Giordano's Andrea Chénier.


Topping our list for most Oscars won is Peter Shaffer's 1984 period drama, Amadeus. The fictitious recounting of Mozart's life won eight academy awards including Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham), Best Director (Miloš Forman), Best Adapted Screenplay (Peter Shaffer) and more. Featured throughout the film is much of Mozart's operatic work. In the following clip you realize that the muse behind Mozart's Der Hölle Rache (The Magic Flute) might just have been his mother-in-law!