Another Special FANFAIRE-KULTUR
In celebration of NATIONAL ARTS MONTH, FanFaire proudly partners once again with KULTUR in multiple DVD GIVEAWAYS throughout the month of October 2013. The first is a DVD documentary about the legendary Maria Callas, opera’s best known diva, and arguably one of the greatest opera singers of all time. Ten (10) copies of the DVD will be given away to FanFaire viewers who fill in the form below. The giveaway ends on October 31, 2013. NOTE: Extended to Nov. 3, in recognition of National Opera Week.
The film, which draws on rare archive footage and a wealth of documents and stills, is centered on her 1964 performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca at the Royal Opera House/Covent Garden which was mounted for her by the acclaimed Italian filmmaker and opera stage director and a devoted Callas fan, Franco Zeffirelli. The film has a treasure trove of interesting and insightful commentaries by Zeffirelli himself as well as such opera luminaries as, among others, tenor Placido Domingo, Royal Opera House Music Director Antonio Pappano, acclaimed American soprano Grace Bumbry, and baritone Tito Gobbi–her Scarpia in this production. The common thread running through these commentaries are a recognition of Callas’ artistic contribution to opera. She reignited interest in the then largely forgotten bel canto operas of the 19th century, notably the works of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. Considered too difficult and musically uninteresting, most had not been heard since the time of their writing. Not only did Callas sing them beautifully, she put the melodies and all the virtuosic embellishments to genuine dramatic use. She proved that she was a great stage actress as well, setting a new standard of performance for opera singers. It opened up a whole new repertory for the other great singers of the century such as Joan Sutherland and Beverly Sills.
The documentary is aptly titled “DYING FOR ART AND LOVE” – a succinct summation of the opera’s story line and very much in resonance with Callas’s own extraordinary personal story, which at the peak of her career in the 1950s and ’60s attracted constant media attention. When the US-born diva (who was born Maria Cecilia Sophia Anna Kalogeropoulos in New York City on December 2, 1923) 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. And in the end, a premature death from a heart attack in her Paris apartment on September 16, 1977 at the age of only fifty-three. However, she remains very much alive in the public imagination. Forty years after her passing, her remastered audio recordings (opera was very rarely filmed in her time) remain among in the top tier of classical music/opera best-sellers.
Below is a video excerpt from the DVD:
JOIN THE GIVEAWAY! Just fill in the following form. Winners will be notified by email.