Maria Callas Subject of "Great Performers" Screening Series at Lincoln Center

News   Maria Callas Subject of "Great Performers" Screening Series at Lincoln Center
The life and work of opera icon Maria Callas, who was the subject of Terrence McNally's Tony-winning play Master Class, will be explored in a three-part film series, "Callas On Film," March 17 and 18, as part of Lincoln Center's "Great Performers" series at the Walter Reade Theater.

Maria Callas
Maria Callas

The evenings will feature rarely-seen footage of Callas in rehearsals, performance and interviews. Opera News features editor Brian Kellow will introduce the screenings.

"Callas on Film" launches with the French documentary "Vissi d' Arte" at 3:30 PM on March 17. According to "Great Performers," "This rarely-seen documentary produced on French television in 1978 is considered one of the most comprehensive examinations of Callas and her art recorded on film. Director Alain Ferrari speaks with Callas' fellow artists — singers, conductors, and directors, including Giuseppe di Stefano, Jon Vickers, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Franco Zeffirelli. There is also a moving account of the singer's complicated personality from her teacher, Elvira de Hidalgo."

Also presented at 3:30 PM on March 17 will be a film of Callas' recital with the NDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Nicolas Rescigno, "The Hamburg Concert: 1959." It promises arias from Verdi's Macbeth and Don Carlo, Bellini's Il Pirata, Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Spontini’s La Vestale.

On March 18 at 2 PM "Great Performers" will screen "Callas in Conversation and On Stage." It includes Callas and director Luchino Visconti along with excerpts from performances and rehearsals in the 1960s of some of the soprano's most memorable roles, including Bellini's Norma (in rare rehearsal footage with the Paris Opera). A 25-minute clip from her 1956 "Ed Sullivan Show" appearance is also included, with excerpts from Tosca along with George London and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Tickets, priced at $15, are available by phoning (212) 721-6500, or by visiting

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