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Maria Callas at Covent Garden (1964)

Few of Maria Callas's performances were filmed, so these two gala concerts recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1962 and 1964 are special. On 4 November 1962, it was before ... See full summary »

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Few of Maria Callas's performances were filmed, so these two gala concerts recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1962 and 1964 are special. On 4 November 1962, it was before an excited audience that she appeared unexpectedly in a live television transmission of a concert with several other performers. She was in excellent vocal condition, which reassured her fans, who had heard rumors that she was vanishing from the stage to be with Aristotle Onassis or because her voice was failing. Callas sings "Tu che le vanita" from Verdi's Don Carlo and the flirtatious gypsy girl's role in the Habanera and the Seguedille from Bizet's Carmen. In 1963 Callas occasionally recorded for EMI in Paris, but her last triumph was her appearance in Puccini's Tosca at Covent Garden in 1964. The director was Franco Zeffirelli and singing in the role of Scarpia was baritone Tito Gobbi. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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Maria Callas at Covent Garden, 1962 and 1964  »

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Referenced in Tosca (2011) See more »

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Carmen: Entracte (Acte III)
Music by Georges Bizet
Performed by The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conducted by Georges Prêtre
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The Only Living Proof Of An Opera Legend's Stage Performance
4 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is, sadly, the only filmed performance of Maria Callas in any opera. Film technology was primitive and what's more cameras were never allowed in operas, unlike today. Director Franco Zefferelli designed the sets and costumes to this Tosca in London's Convent Garden. Maria Callas was not in her best voice as years of wear and tear had taken its toll on her voice, but this is still a fabulous performance of Tosca, though it is incomplete (we see only Act 2). Callas is not very subtle here- she rages, she loves, she murders the villain Scarpia. He is played by the excellent Tito Gobbi. For fans of Callas, this an absolute must have. It is a document, a great moment in musical history. Callas would never sing Tosca after this. Her voice would decline and in 1977 she died in Paris of a heart failure.


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