The Aspern Papers | 1988
A telecast of Dominick Argento's opera based on Henry James' novella of the same name. In the opera, set in a crumbling villa on Lake Como, Italy, in 1895 (with flashbacks to 1835), a long-retired and reclusive diva lives with her unmarried niece. A scholar charms his way into their impoverished household where he rents rooms in order to work on the biography of the late composer Jeffrey Aspern. The lodger suspects that the diva, once Aspern's mistress, knows the location of the composer's lost opera, "Medea." In an attempt to discover its whereabouts, he woos her middle-aged niece, who destroys the manuscript when she learns of the lodger's true intentions.