Diva Of Divas.
F. Gentile | Lake Worth, Florida, United States | 06/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I, admittedly, am not an opera expert, by any stretch... I've seen a number of productions, enjoyed the spectacle, the talent, but don't know a mezzo from a matzho. But everyone knows Maria Callas. The first time I saw a film of this Anna Magnani with a voice, I was transfixed. I became intrigued with the legend, so I bought this video. I have re-watched several times, and I found it to be informative and revealing. She has been dissected almost more than any public figure,"the greatest", "the worst", "tempermental" ...etc.., they're all here. There are interviews with people from the very beginning of her career, when the ugly-(very large)duckling had few admirers. From her first singing teacher and a fellow student, who, upon first hearing the young Maria sing, says "my own mouth fell open", in awe, from Franco Zeffirelli, who worked with and adored her, from her friends, her "swan" period, her "tantrums", her scandalous affair with and betrayal by Onassis, her decline, her public humiliation by talentless, envious critics who weren't fit to wipe her feet, her lonely end. "Those whom the Gods love, they also destroy"...It offers a candid look at the greatest opera legend ever, who left in her wake detractors, yes, but also many who said seeing and hearing her was a once in a lifetime exposure to an almost supernatural talent..."possessed", as Signore Zeffirelli describes her here. I found this over-all very pleasing, it helped me to understand and better appreciate the woman who revolutionized an art form, and who many consider to be the greatest artist of this century.This film helps explain the continuing fascination. There was only one "La Divina". Long may she live."
Lack of information
Armando Acevedo Milan | Mexico, DF Mexico | 07/27/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There is not too much information in this DVD. La Callas sings many small pieces of arias but never tell you which arias are, there are many people interviewed but they never tell you who they are, the interviews of not English Language speaking people are "doubled" to English instead of just "subtitling" them etc. I do not recommend this DVD. ( I have others DVds of La Callas and are much better than this one)"
Not just for La Divina fans
Gianluca Del Ponte | Boston, MA United States | 06/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pretty good documentary on Callas phenomenon. One certainly gets an idea of what it was all about. A bit too much of shallow psychology (Maria the artist, Maria the woman), but all in all it works. Even though there is much overlap with another documentary (Callas - Life and Art) this one is definitely better executed and gives more. If you want just the art part get Hamburg or Paris recital DVDs."
Maria Callas - La Divina: A Portrait
John P. Roach Jr. | San Diego, CA | 11/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I especially liked the approach in this film showing Callas the artist and Maria the woman. This theme carries throughout this wonderful Portrait. There is so little footage of this greatest Soprano of her Century, that every morsel is welcomed. Excerpts from her opera performances worldwide show off her professionalism and talent. A Greek Tragedy that even Euripides would have appreciated, yet the tragedy is ours for the loss of this talented Diva at her age of 53. Callas the artist so talented and Maria the woman, so beautiful yet so vulnerable."