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Maria by Callas

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Forty years after her death, the most famous opera singer ever tells her own story – completely in her own words. Tom Volt’s elegant and engrossing portrait of Maria Callas excels in the craft of footage assembly – family photographs, personal Super 8 films, private live recordings, intimate letters and rare archival footage never shown to the public – all brilliantly edited together to capture the unique life of the performer who was not only the leading soprano of the 20th century, but also one of the most famous women in the world.

“An unalloyed tribute to a musical genius who gave all of herself to the public.” – Scot Tobias, Variety

Through her own voice, the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary Greek/American woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar whose vocal perfection was enhanced by her beauty and lavish lifestyle, and occasionally overshadowed by her tumultuous personal life. But it is Callas’s music that is paramount in the film. We’re treated to her signature arias from the operas NormaLa TraviataCarmen, and Tosca. As Callas told David Frost, “If someone really tries to listen to me, he will find all myself there.” Maria by Callas is a cinematic love note to a great artist, and a vivid audiovisual journey through mid-century western culture. (Dir. by Tom Volf, 2017, France, in English/French/Italian with English subtitles, 113 mins., Rated PG)

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