Cyprus Mail

Maria Callas’ life brought to stage

Opera lover or not, Maria Callas is a name that is instantly recognisable. Considered the most influential opera singer of the 20th century, Callas left behind a legacy of classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini, with her musical and dramatic talents leading to her being hailed as La Divina.

Although the adventurous life of this American-born Greek soprano has often overshadowed her art, her accomplishments were so great that American composer Leonard Bernstein called her “the Bible of opera”.

Her influence was so powerful that years after she passed, in 2006 Opera News wrote: “Nearly thirty years after her death, she’s still the definition of the diva as artist – and still one of classical music’s best-selling vocalists.”

Today, in an attempt to showcase and present the art that is Maria Callas two renowned artists, soprano opera singer Chryso Makariou and actor Achilleas Grammaticopoulos, join forces on stage to present Maria Kalogeropoulou Callas, The Woman and The Artist.

On February 20 at Rialto theatre, Grammatikopoulos will interpret the role of a scene director who is researching Callas’ life and art, while Makariou will perform next to him the most distinguished arias that made Callas the Diva Assoluta. Along with the two main characters come the internationally renowned Bulgarian baritone Krum Galabov, pianist Zbynek Maruska, flautist Theodoros Krasidis.

The performance will follow the steps from Callas’ early achievements until her sudden death. Its concept combines harmonically spoken word, audio-visual material and live performance to portray the world of Maria Callas, as diva assoluta and Μaria Κalogeropoulou, as woman and artist who struggled for perfection and truth in her art.

Makariou and Galabov will present an eclectic programme that reflects Callas’ versatile voice including arias and duets from Norma, Tosca, La Traviata, Andrea Chenier. A narration along with authentic visual material highlights the most important and glorious moments of Callas’ life, revealing at the same time the woman behind the voice, the artist trying to tame the voice and the voice itself in all her artistic dimensions.

The research of the project and the scenario of the homage Maria Kalogeropoulou Callas, The Woman and Artist is set under the scholarly supervision of the Historian Musicologist Dr Spyridoula Katsarou and held under the auspices of the First Lady of Cyprus Andri Anastasiades.

All proceeds from the performance will go to the One Wish One Dream association, which supports children suffering from cancer and related diseases, the Association.

Maria Kalogeropoulou Callas, The Woman and The Artist
Performance paying tribute to the life and art of soprano Maria Callas. By opera singer Chryso Makariou and actor Achilleas Grammaticopoulos. February 20. Rialto Theatre, Limassol. 7.30pm. €15 / €10. Tel: 77777745

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