Music is frequently overlooked by scholars of adaptation, who concentrate primarily on questions of literary and visual transformation. Undertaking a close reading of a pivotal scene in Joe Wright's Atonement, this article demonstrates the vital contribution music can make to the adaptation process. Wright uses music, and Puccini's in particular, in ways that are both narrative and reflexive, creating shifts of emphasis, deliberate ambiguities and intertextual allusions. Opera becomes a tool that allows the film-maker to interrogate notions of authorial and historical reliability, themes that lie at the heart of Ian McEwan's highly self-aware novel.
Wilson, Alexandra (2015) Unreliable Authors, Unreliable History: Opera in Joe Wright's Adaptation of Atonement. In: Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 155-174. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/48165/.