- Actors: Maria Callas, Franco Zeffirelli
- Directors: Kultur
- Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Not RatedNR
- Studio: Kultur Video
- DVD Release Date: September 24, 2013
- Run Time: 56 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00DVH22J6
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
Maria Callas: Living & Dying for Art & Love
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When Callas sang Tosca at Covent Garden in 1964, she could not have known how crucial it would prove to her career and her life. It was the last role she performed on stage: a huge success and a high point in twentieth century opera, but it marked the beginning of the end for the diva. Loss of nerve, voice and love were to follow. Franco Zeffirelli's legendary Tosca and the production's resonance with Callas's own extraordinary story are the focus of this documentary, which draws on rare archive footage and a wealth of documents and stills. Zeffirelli, Tito Gobbi (her Scarpia) and Placido Domingo are among the contributors.
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Grace Bumry, John Copley, Dame Judi Dench who speaks pointedly about the great acting skill of Callas, Plàcido Domingo, Nicholas Gage, Tito Gobbi, Antonio Pappano, Alan Stevewright, David Webster and Franco Zeffirelli took part in this film, being interviewed and sharing insights into the legend that was Callas the diva, the artist, and the woman who took grand opera to grand proportions even in her personal life. In some ways, the life of Callas could be considered as grand a tragedy as some of opera story lines, and yet as there was also grand vision of what it was to create and bring characters to life with the perfectionism and musicianship of Callas. Her withdrawal from the public, in her last years, though understood to be a means of coping with her waning vocal strengths. The turmoil of finding herself abandoned by Aristotle, for whom withdrew from performing on stage and had intended to forsake performing, never allowed her to emotionally recover from the betrayal.
The story line of Tosca, the jealous and dramatic character in Verdi's opera of that name, is utilized to give an overview of her life and performances, asking whether or not when Tosca (Callas) stabs Scarpia, could it have become a linked to feelings Callas may have harbored in regards to stabbing her unfaithful lover.
I find that his film, along with CALLAS a documentary plus bonus, are the two DVD's which capture the legend that was Callas the best, since there are no full length video performances of her in her glory as the stage phenomenon she is attributed to have been. She was part of the era which is considered to be the Golden Age of Opera, and as such needs to be a part of a serious opera collectors video library.