TIFF 2018 Review: MARIA BY CALLAS (France 2018) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Maria by Callas Poster
An intimate look at the life and work of Greek-American opera singer, Maria Callas, as told in her own words.


Tom Volf


Tom Volf ‘s MARIA BY CALLAS offers fresh insights into one of the great talents of the 20th century via recently rediscovered writings and interviews with the Greek-American soprano.  Maria Callas has been praised by many as the greatest singer of the century.  Callas was born and bred in New York City though many think she is of Italian or European origin.  

The film is comprised of beautifully restored archival footage with her own words from her letters and writings as narrated by American opera singer Joyce DiDonato.   The Greek-American soprano rose to fame after World War II and became a star attraction in all the major opera houses. This film offers fresh insights into her public and private lives, especially her long-time romance with Aristotle Onassis, the affair that made headlines as both were still married at the time.  Callas’s music is obviously paramount in the film.

  The film’s real treat is Callas’ complete performances of the arias from the operas Norma, La Traviata, Carmen, and Tosca.  Also insightful and funny is the footage of the David Frost interview with Callas telling Frost, “If someone really tries to listen to me, he will find all myself there.” 

 The doc feels longer than its running time and could have been edited to a tighter 90 minutes.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdxBhU46TGM

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