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Subject: Re: Callas by Maria
From: ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 7 Dec 2018 17:46:35 -0600
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Opens tonight in Kansas City!

Patrick Byrne

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 7, 2018, at 5:38 PM, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> The documentary "Callas by Maria" finally hit the hinterlands of the
> Midwest.  It started today at one theatre in the Cleveland area and I was
> there for the first showing.  I will most likely go again and buy it when
> it comes out on DVD.
> 
> Unless you know the basics of the Callas life and career, this is not the
> best "first step."  For that I would suggest the Ardoin and then the Tony
> Palmer.  However, if you do know the "back story" this will be the one you
> keep coming back to.  It makes you feel like no other telling of the Callas
> story, her commitment to her art, the incredible pressure she felt to live
> up to the reputation her inherent genius created, and the toll such
> dedication took on her as a person.  After watching the film, my personal
> opinion is that the "Rome Walkout" was the beginning of the collapse of her
> ability to cope with the level of popular, professional, and artistic fame
> she had dedicated her life  (up to that point) to achieve.  She refers to
> it as a  low point until just about the very end of her life.
> 
> A few additional comments:
> 
> The film largely ignores her formative years.  There is no recounting of
> her early career defining anomalies like alternating Walkure with
> Puritani.  We jump almost immediately into the glory years at La Scala.
> The film maker, Tom Volf did a marvelous job of searching out and restoring
> old color footage of Callas in performance - productions I've admired in
> black and white photos in the Ardoin book suddenly jump to life in vivid
> reds, blues, and yellows.  How gorgeous she looked in that Trieste "Norma"
> and all the fire you would expect is there in those brief flashes of her in
> performance.  There are also stunning scenes from Vestale, Ballo, the '55
> Scala Norma, the Lisbon Traviata, the Paris Norma and the London Tosca  -
> all carefully curated by the director.
> 
> The narration is either in the Callas voice, or by Joyce di Donato reading
> the Callas letters.  Brava to di Donato for not trying to imitate any
> number of the speaking "voices" the real Callas used to express herself -
> from Grande Dame in the David Frost interview to the "Fulton Fish Market"
> shriek after Bing fired her from the MET.  Di Donato captures both surface
> and soul without distracting attention from the essence of La Divina.
> 
> If you haven't seen it...don't miss it!
> 
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