We are the old, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved and now we live
In Beecham home.  

Quartet is unabashedly a movie about us, the old folks.  I loved it as soon as it started.   When I found out that it was not only about old folks, but about old folks who loved music and Beecham was, in fact, a home for aging musicians, I loved it twice as much.  As the movie begins, Beecham Home is excited about welcoming a new resident, a “star”  soprano who in the past has received 12 curtain calls.   Jean Horton, this aging diva, is played by Maggie Smith, currently most famous for her role as the Dowager  Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey (which I have yet to see — I really must get to it!)

It seems that with the arrival of this soprano diva, Beecham now housed four of the finest singers in English operatic history, and they thought they could earn money (to save Beecham) by performing the Quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto.   And the  comedic drama proceeds from there.

Rated PG13 for “brief strong language and suggestive humor.”  Only an hour and a half.  Directed by Dustin Hoffman.   Maggie Smith, the lead, was in actual real life born in 1934 which makes her 79.    Bravo, Maggie!

Just because I first became acquainted with Verdi’s Quartet from Rigoletto on an old red label Victor recording, played by my husband, I have (I hope) with considerable trouble embedded it here, featuring John McCormack, tenor, and Lucretia Bori, diva.

For Mary, McCormack (1911) singing Molly Bawn,   She was her Daddy’s Molly Bawn.