This film version was made in Italy in , just four years after the opera was staged in New York City, and it features the original Baba, the great Marie Powers, whose eccentricities included roller-skating to performances. Beverly Dame also was part of the New York cast. Has the spirit world come to punish her, or was it merely Toby, whom she treats abusively? Unable to get an answer this question, she retreats to the bottle. At the end of the opera, startled from her stupor, she shoots the banished Toby, mistaking him for ghost. For the movie, the action has been opened up slightly, adding twenty minutes in length.
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When she returns, she is furious that they are not ready for the seance she has planned; Monica prevents her from striking Toby. They busily prepare, and when the three guests arrive for the seance, Monica pretends to be the teenage daughter of one and the baby son of another, while Toby works the mechanical devices that control the motion of the lights and the furniture in the room.
Suddenly, Madame Flora stops the seance and sends the customers away. She tells Monica she felt a spectral hand clutch her throat during the seance. Act II A few days later, Monica is watching Toby perform a puppet show for her; then she dances for him. Monica realizes he is trying to tell her that he loves her; pretending to be his voice, she says it for him.
She runs off as Flora reenters; the medium tries cajole Toby into confessing that he was the one who touched her during the seance, or that he knows something about it. When he does not answer, she begins to whip him, but is interrupted by the doorbell. The three clients from the previous seance enter; Flora gives them their money back and tries to convince them they have been cheated, even showing them the wires and microphones, but they refuse to believe her.
Monica goes to her room, and Flora, frightened by what she has experienced, drinks herself to sleep. Toby returns; Flora awakes, and Toby hides from her; Flora, thinking he is the spirit she felt, shoots him.
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Nina Simone - Black Swan Lyrics
Black Swan Lyrics