The Songs of Her Own Fate
BLee | HK | 05/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are mad about Callas, this is something you don't want to miss. Like Busoni or else Heifetz, Callas is too much a legend to compare with: even someone with the stature of Schwarzkopf was obliged to give way.For those who are not so mad about opera, they may also find this DVD interesting. As suggested by it's title, it's more concerned with her life than her art: things like where she came from, where she was brought up, who her parents were, what sort of musical education she had, and lastly but not the least, her love with the shipping millionaire...Her life was told by those who had first hand knowledge of her, like her long time partner Stefeno (Italian tenor), her piano accompanist, conductor (Giulini), her director, an EMI producer, a critic plus, 2 or 3 clips of herself, one in an interview and the others when she talked to the press. We also have a lot of her photos too when we hear her sing.Not much was offered in terms of her art by these contributors. Perhaps for a legend like Callas, it's not really necessary especially when there are clips (not in full, of course) of her acting/singing. Tosca came up twice, they are just marvelous, so did Norma, something that we can't afford to miss. The voice with it's force and drama are just amazing. All the more so for Rossini's "Una voce poco fa" which is virtually unsurpassable. The duets with Stefeno are perhaps filmed when she had past her very prime, which are nonetheless very appealing. Callas once said she was sick of New York since her parts in the great operas are all so sad, either dying of consumption or else with a broken heart, something she sang so beautifully and acted so well as though she was really one of those characters herself: this ironically turned out exactly to be her own portrait. Such being her fate of, the fate of a great artist who probably is the greatest opera singer of all times. So, this is life... 4 stars mainly because of the short running time: only 76 minutes. Recommended."
1 hour 16 minutes
andres_a | 01/19/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The programme includes interviews with famous people who knew Maria Callas - such as Franco Zeffirelli and Carlo Maria Giulini - and is interspersed with extracts from famous concerts and recordings, including two duets with Giuseppe di Stefano.Featuring extracts from the following performances:
"Vissi d'arte" - from Tosca by Puccini
"Casta Diva" - from Norma by Bellini
"Una voce poco fa" - from Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini
"Habanera" - from Carmen by Bizet: Concert at Covent Garden
Cavalleria Rusticana - by Mascagni: Duet with Giuseppe di Stefano
L'elisir d'amore - by Donizetti: Duet with Giuseppe di StefanoFEATURES OF THE DVD:
- easy access to selected parts of the programme by means of a navigational timeline
- optional on-screen subtitles in English, French or German (but not Italian)
- on-screen information about Callas's life and stage roles
- linear PCM (uncompressed) sound"
A must for fans of Maria Callas
andres_a | 03/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a "must" for fans of Maria Callas, but not necessarily so for fans of the arts of Maria Callas. It covers a lot of Maria's life, but not too much of her art. I would have given it 5 star if it had given the full footage of her singing of Norma's Casta Diva (they show only seconds of it). She was very elegant even at her fifties. Can any one tell me how many sopranos are there (or have ever been) who are pretty, slim,can sing AND can act very well at the same time? Maria Callas is the only one I know (hmm, may be I am ignorant...) who can live up to the very high expectation of most opera fans. The DVD also shows her as a young woman when she was still fat. But she was indeed not very fat. I don't think Cecilia Bartoli is slimmer than she was. It was such a great loss to opera fans that she should be born so early. Otherwise we should have many more of her art to enjoy through these visual material."
andres_a | New York, NY | 03/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an outstanding documentary! You will learn all about Maria Callas' biography. It starts beautifully as the first scene shows Maria Callas singing "Visi d'arte, visi d'amore" (Tosca act II) - to show an analogy between Tosca and Callas: two divas who lived for art and love... This video is mostly a collection of interviews of colleagues and friends of Maria Callas. It also includes some interviews with Callas herself in which one may see her charming and magnetic personality. The timeline is explained very clearly and with good use of historical sources. There is also some footage of Maria Callas singing a few arias like Casta Diva (10+), Una Voce Poco Fa (Outstanding!) and others. Definitely one to buy!"