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Recordings

29 Mar 2005

Maria Callas — Living and Dying for Art and Love

The legend of Maria Callas has transcended her death, and after more than twenty five years, titans of opera still proclaim her the ultimate Diva: artist, actress, musician, lover and woman. Iambic Productions and BBC’s 2004 DVD, Maria Callas: Living and Dying for Art and Love, is a fascinating look at the life of Callas from the perspective of her final role and performance at Covent Garden, Tosca.

Maria Callas — Living and Dying for Art and Love
TDK DVUS-DOCMC [DVD]

The legend of Maria Callas has transcended her death, and after more than twenty five years, titans of opera still proclaim her the ultimate Diva: artist, actress, musician, lover and woman. Iambic Productions and BBC's 2004 DVD, Maria Callas: Living and Dying for Art and Love, is a fascinating look at the life of Callas from the perspective of her final role and performance at Covent Garden, Tosca.

Callas once said, "An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house." Never did a role epitomize the life of Callas than Floria Tosca. Her interpretation of Tosca was a reflection how she viewed herself, a beautiful, fresh woman, brimming with passion for her love and art. For Callas, she saw the love she lived and died for, Aristotle Onassis, as her personal Scarpia, a man so magnetic, yet so hurtful and deceiving.

This fresh take on Callas's biography includes many captivating interviews featuring Grace Bumbry, John Copley, Judi Dench, Plácido Domingo, Nicholas Gage, Tito Gobbi, Antonio Pappano, Alan Sievewright, David Webster, and Franco Zeffirelli. The film also highlights many interviews with Callas, focusing on her thoughts of the role and her interpretation of Puccini and his music. The musical excerpts feature Callas' live video-taping of "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore", as well as ensemble excerpts, "Tre sbirri... Una carrozza..." and "E qual via scegliete?" with Tito Gobbi and Renato Cioni.

Gobbi once said of Callas, "She shone for all too brief a while in the world of opera, like a vivid flame attracting the attention of the whole world, and she had a strange magic which was all her own. I always thought she was immortal-and she is." Iambic and BBC's biography allows us to once again bask in the glow of this Diva, experiencing for the first time or remembering once again the power of such a performer.

Sarah Hoffman

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