CALLAS – PARIS, 1958
It was a major social event, attended by “Le Tout Paris” (including French President Coty, Jean Cocteau, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, Charlie Chaplin, Brigitte Bardot, and many more). Callas appeared on the famous stage wearing her most elegant couture and a million dollars’ worth of jewelry. She opened with her signature role, Norma’s “Casta diva”, followed by the haunting "Miserere" scene from Verdi's Il Trovatore, before she lightened the mood with the mischievous “Una voce poco fa” from Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The climax of the evening came in the second half: a fully staged performance of Tosca, Act II.
Tosca is a story of police brutality, sexual harassment, and sheer violence, psychological and physical, conveyed through some of opera's most iconic moments – including the great aria “Vissi d’arte”. Callas’ now-legendary interpretation of “Vissi d’arte” was already beloved during her lifetime, as seen in the audience’s enthusiastic reaction captured in the film, which caused the production to halt temporarily. Callas - joined by her brilliant sparring partner, Tito Gobbi, as Scarpia - savours this material in a monumental virtuoso performance.
The repertoire in this performance shows Callas at her best, both in recital and as an operatic actress. Visual elements were as important as the vocal dimensions in her art.
Available for the first time entirely in colour and in 4K Ultra HD - meticulously restored from the recently discovered original 16mm reels and a newly discovered sound source – this is an opportunity to experience this historical performance as never before.
Produced by the team behind the award-winning film “Maria by Callas”.
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