Maria Callas: Life and Art (1987)

Genres - Music  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Music History, Vocal Music, Opera  |   Run Time - 55 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom  |  
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Synopsis by Rose of Sharon Winter

This documentary chronicles the life of the most exciting opera singer of her generation. Her soprano voice, with its exceptional expressive powers, enabled Maria Callas to become the first singer in a century to perform in the intricate Romantic style, conveying tremendous emotional range and dramatic intensity. She became the prime force in the late 20th century revival of Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti. Born in New York of Greek parentage, her family returned to Greece, where she studied voice, and had her debut in Athens in 1941, going on to perform in New York and Italy. The film gives insight into the singer's character, as well as her career. It celebrates her singing and dramatic skills, and explores the woman behind the public persona . The events of her life were always newsworthy, particularly her long relationship with Aristotle Onassis, for whom she gave up her career and left her husband, in expectation of her marriage to the Greek shipping magnate. Instead, Onassis discarded her and chose to marry Jacqueline Kennedy. Callas became a recluse in Paris, where she died in 1977, at the age of 53, her tragic life reading much like one of the operas she so vividly portrayed.