IMDb Rating
Directed By
Dario Argento
Produced By

Dario Argento Ferdinando Caputo Mario Cecchi Gori

Vittorio Cecchi Gori
Written By

Dario Argento

Franco Ferrini

Cristina Marsillach Ian Charleson Urbano Barberini

Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni
Music By

Brian Eno Roger Eno Steel Grave Claudio Simonetti

Bill Wyman
Ronnie Taylor
Editing By
Franco Fraticelli

Produced By

ADC Films (as ACD Srl) Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica (as Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica Srl)

Radiotelevisione Italiana (as RAI Radio Televisione Italiana)
Distributed By
Orion Pictures
Release Date(s)
19 December 1987
107 min.
Flag of Italy Italy
$8,000,000 (estimated)
Opera, also known as Terror at the Opera, is a 1987 Italian giallo horror film written and directed by Dario Argento and starring Cristina Marsillach, Urbano Barberini and Ian Charleson. The film's score was composed by Brian Eno and Claudio Simonetti. The film was released in the United States under the title Terror at the Opera. The film was one of Argento's most commercially successful films, seeing 1,363,912 ticket sales in his native country of Italy. This is the second Dario Argento's horror film to have THX audio certified and picture quality.

Plot Edit

The film centers around young, insecure opera singer Betty (Cristina Marsillach). After the lead in Verdi's Macbeth is injured in a car accident, Betty is reluctantly thrust into the role in the opera. During her first performance, a murder takes place in one of the opera boxes. Mysterious murders continue throughout the film as Betty is stalked and those around her meet their unfortunate end. The killer binds and places tape under Betty's eyelids with needles attached so she is unable to blink, and therefore forced to watch as the murders take place. Meanwhile, Betty continues to have frightening dreams involving a masked person and her mother. During the final performance of the opera the killer is revealed, and Betty must confront her past in a terrifying climax.

Soundtrack Edit

Title Performer/Composer Publisher

  • "White Dakeness"
  • "Balance"
  • "From the Beginning"

Brian Eno and Roger Eno By Arrangement with Opal Ltd, London

  • "Opera"
  • "Craws"
  • "Confusion"

Claudio Simonetti By Arrangement with BMG Ariola-Walkman SRL

  • "Opera Theme"
  • "Black Notes"

Bill Wyman and Terry Taylor By Arrangement with Ripple Music Ltd.

  • "Knights of the Night"
  • "Steel Grave"

Steel Grave a.k.a. Gow By Arrangement with Franton Music/Walkman SRL

  • "No Escape"

Norden Light By Arrangement with Sonet

  • "Lady Macbeth ("Vieni t'afretta")

From opera "Macbeth". Composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by Maria Callas. By Arrangement with Fonit Cetra

  • "Casta Diva"

From "Norma". Composed by Vincenzo Bellini. Performed by Maria Callas. By Arrangement with Fonit Cetra

  • "Amami Alfredo"
  • "Sempre libera"

From "La Traviata". Composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by Maria Callas. By Arrangement with Fonit Cetra

  • "Un bel dì vedremo"

From "Madama Butterfly". Composed by Giacomo Puccini. Performed by Mirella Freni. By Arrangement with PolyGram (as Poligram)

  • "Macbeth" (excerpt)

Composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz (as Elisabetta Norberg Schulz) soprano, Paola Leolini Soprano, Andrea Piccinni (as Andrea Piccini) Tenor, Michele Pertusi Baritone, with "Arturo Toscanini" Symphonic Orchestra of Emilia and Romagna. Recorded at the Elite Studio of Sermide (MN)

Cast Edit

  • Cristina Marsillach as Betty
  • Ian Charleson as Marco
  • Urbano Barberini as Inspector Alan Santini
  • Daria Nicolodi as Mira
  • Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni as Giulia
  • Antonella Vitale as Marion
  • William McNamara as Stefano
  • Barbara Cupisti as Signora Albertini

Location Edit

The theater to which refers the movie is the Parma Opera House.

Critical reception Edit

Opera currently has an approval rating of 83% on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on twelve reviews. AllMovie called the film "a decent, fairly typical Argento film that is worth watching primarily for its above-average murder sequences."

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