Lifelong friends Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reggie (Tom
Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy (Pauline Collins),
are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera
singers. Every year on Verdi's birthday, the residents unite to give
a concert to raise funds for their home. But when Jean Horton
(Maggie Smith), a former Grande Dame of the opera fallen on hard
times, also Reggie's ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated
member of their former quartet, moves into the home to everyone's
surprise, the plans for this year's concert start to unravel.
As old grudges threaten to undermine past glories and
theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule, it
apparent that having four of the finest singers in
English operatic history under one roof offers no guarantee that the
will go on.
Ideal for study groups in any
organisation, these three special featurettes and accompanying Leaderís
Guide enable us to explore how music and film illuminates life.
montages of clips from the film combine one of the styles of music with
some of the main characters, in order to explore the themes of 'Love
and Loss' (in relation to Classical Opera), 'Life and Hope' (in relation
to Light Opera) and 'Fun and Fulfilment' (in relation to Music Hall).
Ideal particularly for people in their later years,
in any organisation or just amongst friends, this special featurette and
discussion guide enable us to explore how to live life to the full.
This featurette combines clips from the film with comments from Dustin
Hoffman (director), Ronnie Harwood (writer), Finola Dwyer (producer),
Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly who each give their perspective on
living life in the latter years.