Tom Volf's MARIA BY CALLAS is the first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer completely in her own words. Told through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs—nearly all of which have never been shown to the public—the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time. Assembling the material for the film took director Volf four years of painstaking research, which included personal outreach to dozens of Callas' closest friends and associates, who allowed him to share their personal memorabilia in the film. When recordings of Callas' voice aren't available, Joyce DiDonato, one of contemporary opera's biggest stars, reads her words. Callas' music is paramount in the film, and we're treated to her signature arias from the operas Norma, La Traviata, Carmen, and Tosca. As Callas told Frost, "If someone really tries to listen to me, he will find all myself there."
“[T]o see Callas perform is to comprehend the power she held over both an audience and an art form...It’s possible, while watching this movie, to wonder if there was ever a woman as uniquely gifted at being famous—as simultaneously talented, clever, charming, and interesting to watch—as Callas.” —Alessandra Codinha, Vogue “Volf highlights Callas’ sentiment that her memoirs ‘are in the music [she] interprets, the only language [she] really knows,’ and he respects that feeling to a fault. This was a woman who was hounded by reporters all over the world, and defined by her relationship with the press; here, she finally gets a chance to speak in her own words.” —David Ehrlich, IndieWire
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