Sunday, December 27

Doors: 10:00 AM
Showtime: 10:00 AM

Chautauqua@Home - Virtual Program

$12.00 ($10.00 Concert Member)* - Purchase a Silent Film pass for $35.00 to unlock all four programs and save! 

Click here to purchase a Silent Film pass!


Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, this silent comedy replaces Wilde’s verbal wit with visual wit. The action was set in then-contemporary England, with plenty of high fashion, and over-sized sets that make all of the actors seem small and powerless. Director Ernst Lubitsch makes excellent use of all of the tools of cinema, expanding the play vastly but also incorporating clever use of close-ups, pans, and mattes; and playing up the deceptions and misunderstandings between the major characters, making this a far better character study than the original.

About the Musical Accompaniment:
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra has been a fixture of the Chautauqua summer series for fifteen years. During the pandemic, we had to restrict our instrumentation from a quintet to a trio, to avoid the still-unclear hazards of wind instruments in enclosed spaces. Fortunately, these arrangements were designed to be flexible, so we were able to cover all the parts on piano, violin, and cello. We expect the full quintet to be able to appear again once the epidemic is better understood and better under control.

Rodney Sauer compiled the film score from collections of orchestra music used in silent movie theaters. Because the film is at heart a story of betrayal, attempted adultery, and mistrust; all plastered over with a veneer of high-society parties and polite manners; plus the twist that it’s really a comedy; the music is a mix of light waltzes combined with more serious dramatic music.

More than most of Mont Alto’s film scores, Lady Windermere’s Fan uses many stretches of absolute silence to draw attention to scenes of social awkwardness. Since we recorded this during the afternoon, you may occasionally hear airplanes, trucks, or the laughter of playing children around the auditorium: though fortunately none of these sounds were prominent during our intentional silences.

This program is available for a limited time. Viewers will have seven days after their purchase to unlock the program. If you pre-ordered, you will have seven days from the date the screening becomes available to unlock the program. All viewers will have seven days to watch. All times are listed in Mountain Time.

*All tickets purchases subject to service fees.