The Diva Dance is an otherworldly song performed by an alien opera singer called Diva Plavalaguna in The Fifth Element, an iconic Science-Fiction movie and, incidentally, one of my favorite movies.

Plavalaguna’s song, written by Eric Serra, starts with Il dolce suono, an aria from the opera Lucia de Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti; then continues with the Diva Dance.

Eric Serra had written the song so that it wouldn’t be possible for a singer to hit some of the high notes so quickly after another. The original song was performed in the movie by the Albanian opera singer Inva Mula, and she had to sing those high notes individually; then they were arranged digitally.

Here’s the (digitally enhanced) original. Rumor has it that the wonder you see on Bruce Willis’ face when he listens to her is real. That was the first time he heard the song and seen the actress in full costume and makeup.

I remember seeing the movie and listening to the song for the first time. It still gives me goosebumps. The song and Mula’s performance are not of this world.

Bonus: Eric Serra talking about the scene.

Jane Zhang, a Chinese opera singer, took on the challenging song and hit all the notes without computer help. Listen to her amazing performance from 2015; it’ll give you goosebumps!

Bonus: Jane Zhang’s Italian fan site describing that 2015 evening (the text is in English).


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