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The Music Teacher (1988)

Le maître de musique (original title)
Aging opera singer Joachim Dallayrac retires from the stage and retreats to the countryside to school two young singers, Sophie and Jean. Although the rigorous training takes its toll on ... See full summary »


Gérard Corbiau


Andrée Corbiau, Gérard Corbiau (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
José van Dam José van Dam ... Joachim Dallayrac
Anne Roussel ... Sophie Maurier
Philippe Volter Philippe Volter ... Jean Nilson
Sylvie Fennec Sylvie Fennec ... Estelle Fischer
Patrick Bauchau ... Prince Scotti
Johan Leysen ... François Manssaux
Marc Schreiber Marc Schreiber ... Arcas
Alain Carre Alain Carre ... Attendant
David Ashman David Ashman ... English Critic
Bob Bender Bob Bender ... English Critic
Jonathan Fox Jonathan Fox ... English Critic
Jeannette Bakker Jeannette Bakker ... Diva
Philippe Drecq Philippe Drecq ... Dandy
Jean Gerardy Jean Gerardy ... Old Man
Yvette Merlin Yvette Merlin ... Louise


Aging opera singer Joachim Dallayrac retires from the stage and retreats to the countryside to school two young singers, Sophie and Jean. Although the rigorous training takes its toll on both teacher and students, there is plenty of time for relationships to develop between the three. Based on their teacher's reputation, Sophie and Jean are invited to participate in a singing contest staged by Prince Scotti. Scotti's protege is set up to get revenge for Scotti's defeat at the hands of Dallayrac in a similar competition many years ago. The young students overcome Scotti's trickery to win the competition. Written by Kevin Kraynak <kevin@kraynakk.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Belgium's official submission to the 1989's Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film. See more »


[first lines]
Joachim Dallayrac: Ladies and gentlemen, that was my last performance.
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Sorgio, o padre
(from opera "Bianca e Fernando")
Composed by Vincenzo Bellini
Lyrics by Felice Romani
Performed by Janet Bakker (soprano), Keiko Kusaka (herp)
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User Reviews

worthwhile for the music alone
13 December 2010 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

Belgium's nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar of 1988 is an elegant highbrow crowd pleaser, in which music scores by Verdi, Mahler, Mozart et al get top billing over the actors, and not without good reason. World-renowned baritone Jose van Dam stars as a (surprise) world-renowned baritone, who for reasons never fully explained abruptly retires to train aspiring soprano Anne Roussel and (again for unclear reasons) a common thief with a raw singing talent. But what begins as a polite, continental variation of 'Pygmalion', with all the usual trappings of a turn-of-the-century period piece, works up considerable steam when, unknown to van Dam, his arch enemy Prince Scotti begins training his own protégé, hoping to match him against his rival's two pupils in a no-holds-barred aria duel (to the death?) It's a thrilling (if slightly ridiculous) climax, and goes a long way toward compensating for some of the film's earlier, nagging deficiencies. If for no one else, this is a must for classical music aficionados.

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Belgium | France


French | English | German | Italian

Release Date:

1 February 1989 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Music Teacher See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,486, 9 July 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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