Gloria transita

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Fictional film (with opera excerpts) by Johan Gildemeijer about a street singer who enjoys a brief career as an opera artist.

In Gloria transita (Bygone Glory), directed by John Gildemeijer, a street singer manages to work his way up to the position of an opera artist, only to be struck by fate, and return to his life on the street. Inspired by Cecil B. DeMille’s adaptation of the opera Carmen (1915), which ran for years in American film theatres with the accompaniment of a permanent troupe, for Gloria transita Gildemeijer shot some famous opera fragments from e.g. 'Rigoletto', 'Faust', and 'I Paggliaci'. These were incorporated into the story in such a way that they served to advance the plot. During the screening of the film, the singing of the opera fragments was performed live by a vocal quartet behind the screen. The audience was very impressed by the music, as well as the synchronization of voice and image. The film enjoyed repeat performances in the Netherlands and Belgium until 1927.

This was not the case for the sequel to Gloria transita, namely Gildemeijer’s Gloria fatalis of 1921. Despite collaborating with film composer Max Tak, the film was not successful. As the ‘Algemeen Dagblad’ wrote in 1922, the story ‘had to focus entirely on, and wrench itself towards, the demands of creating a way to reproduce excerpts from several famous operas’. The film lacked the sophistication with which Gloria transita incorporated the fragments into the plot.


original title
Gloria transita
foreign release title
La gloire est périssable
alternative title
production year
release date
original distributor
production company





Technical notations

original length


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 161-162

De Kinematograaf, No. 250, 2 november 1917

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 41, 6 juli 1917, p. 17

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 51, 14 september 1917, p. 14

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 52, 21 september 1917, p. 13, p. 40

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 1, 28 september 1917, p. 11, p. 13

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 8, 16 november 1917, p. 12

Be Bioscoop-Courant No. 14, 28 december 1917, p. 16

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 15, 4 januari 1918, p. 15

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 15, 4 januari 1918; Bijlage van De Bioscoop-Courant

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 16, 11 januari 1918, p. 40

De Bioscoop-Courant No. 16, 11 januari 1918; Bijlage van De Bioscoop-Courant

De Film-Wereld, No. 27, 10 augustus 1918, p. 2

De Film-Wereld, No. 1, 8 februari 1918

Tooneel en Bioscoop No. 9, 1917-1918, p. 36

Kunst en Amusement No. 26, 1920

Kunst en Amusement No. 39, 1921

Kunst en Amusement No. 10, 1922

Kunst en Amusement No. 12, 1922

Nieuw Weekblad voor de Cinematografie No. 40, 1927

Algemeen Handelsblad, 27 december 1917

Algemeen Handelsblad, 9 maart 1922

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