8.9/10
44
1 user

Maria Callas: Life and Art (1987)

Maria Callas - Life And Art is a brilliant documentary of opera diva Maria Callas. The documentary ncludes extensive interviews with her friends and colleagues, as well as priceless performance footage.

Directors:

Alan Lewens, Alastair Mitchell (as Alistair Mitchell)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Maria Callas ... Herself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Giuseppe Di Stefano Giuseppe Di Stefano ... Himself
Carlo Maria Giulini Carlo Maria Giulini ... Himself
Franco Zeffirelli ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Maria Callas - Life And Art is a brilliant documentary of opera diva Maria Callas. The documentary ncludes extensive interviews with her friends and colleagues, as well as priceless performance footage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 December 1987 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

the Queen of Opera
15 May 2003 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

This British EMI Records documentary directed by Alan Lewens and Alistair Mitchell and narrated by Rosalie Crutchley features to-camera interviews, performances from Callas, audio from her Julliard Master Class, and newsreels. It also conveys the sadness of the decline of Callas' career, more sorrowful perhaps because of it's greatness and her purposeful squandering of her talent for love.

It is suggested that Callas voice was faltering in her 1962 recitals and 1964 comeback of the opera "Norma", and that if she hadn't met Onassis and chosen the "jet set high society" life, she may have addressed the vocal problems. Rejected by Onassis in favor of Jackie Kennedy, who had refused to marry her or allow her to have a child, it is said that Maria's broken heart and loss of an audience's rapport is what killed her. Faced with a heart attack, she chose not to fight.

Franco Zeffirelli points out that artists, like athletes, only have a short life, and in comparing Callas to Michelangelo and Nijinksy, believes that audiences (and specifically critics) should have been grateful for the opportunity to hear her sing, at all. Accompanist Robert Sutherland claims that her voice was just overworked.

Others interviewed here are tenors Zani Kambanis and Giuseppe di Stefano (who describes director Luchino Visconti's dislike of his practical jokes), Lord Harewood (whose 1968 Conversations shows Callas in white make-up), agent S.A. Gorlinsky, producer Andy Anderson, EMI recording manager Peter Andry, Variety critic Jack Pitman, conductor Carlo Maria Giulini, and friend Edith Gorlinsky.

We see Japanese subtitled footage of the last concert in Tokyo, a newsreel deconstructed as evidence of press distortion, rare evidence of Callas' sense of humour about her troubles, and her barely concealed contempt when speaking to a stalking reporter. No explaination is given for her mid-career weight loss, apart from her wanting to be "beautiful", and we are told that part of Onassis' appeal was his sexual technique.

Callas voice is shown off best in a performance of Carmen's "Habanera" for black and white television, where she also looks great.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed