Pulling back the curtain on one of the world’s most recognizable voices, Tom Volf’s Maria by Callas presents an intimate and carefully constructed portrait of revered soprano Maria Callas through a compilation of found footage, photographs, home videos and records, personal letters, and rare behind-the-scenes footage.
Iconic both onstage and off, Maria Callas’ talent and operatic artistry brought her legions of fans and admirers from around the world. However, despite her success and widely esteemed talent, Maria’s artistic life was often eclipsed by her celebrity. With rumours, scandals, and intense public scrutiny plaguing her throughout her career, Maria frequently found herself forced to defend her work ethic and shield her personal life from the public, ultimately leading her to feel torn between her two identities: Maria and Callas.
Meticulously weaving together rare archival material and employing Fanny Ardant’s (Paris je t’aime) careful voicework to bring Maria’s writing to life, Volf introduces a new generation of fans to Maria’s magnetic personality, unquestionable artistry and transcendent vocal performances, while also complicating the prevailing narrative surrounding her personal life and public image.
“At the very least, it will send many viewers back to the recordings, some of them superior to the renditions heard here, with a more vivid picture of the extraordinary woman who made them.” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter)