Maria Callas is one of Opera's immortal stars. At the peak of her career, her international fame rivaled that achieved by Caruso or Chaliapin, and the continuing dominance of her recordings is a testament to her talent. Like few Opera stars before or since, Callas lived each role, riveting all who saw her with absolutely mesmerizing sympathy for her characters. Every inflection is a carefully inspired dramatic act made surprisingly real. She was integral in reviving the popularity of Italian opera, though she did not limit herself to the form, and remains an icon to Verdi fans around the world.
Maria Callas Concert Films
Life and Art
Runtime: 1 hr 15 minMaria Callas died on 16th September 1977 at the age of 53. She had been, without doubt, the 20th century's greatest soprano, but was equally famous for events in her private life, her reclusive later years and for the silence she imposed on herself. As well as her stunning musical performances, her reputation depended on the drama she invested in her roles, revealing to the public the true nature of characters such as Tosca, Norma, Médée or Violetta in La traviata. This film reveals her character as well as celebrating her vocal art and her dramatic talents. It shows her as a woman and as a diva, constantly torn between her personal aspirations and her artistic ambitions.
Maria Callas Top Tracks
Hearing the Silence
Runtime: 60 minAn original portrait sketched under the sign of the German poet Holderin - the actor Bruno Ganz recites on of his poems at the beginning of the film. Claudio Abbado is sparing in his words although he is generous in his emotions. That is what makes this documentary special: Abbado talks about his illness (he was operated on for cancer in 2001) and the revolution this illness caused in his life, he shares a little of his private life and talks about his work as a conductor.
We also see him at the age of 35, in 1965, in an interview he gave in Vienna just after directing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Bruckner’s First Symphony. We also find out that he and his companion Zubin Meha sang in the choirs of Musikverein under the direction of Bruno Walter, Herbert von Karajan, Hermann Scherchen and Joseph Krips solely for the purpose of attending the rehearsals of these legendary conductors.
Many interviews of orchestra musicians, namely those from Berlin who talk about his departure in 2002, provide us with a clearer picture of his personality. As for the testimonial of is friend Bruno Ganz, it gives us a very personal insight into this exceptional being.
In Concert 1994
The Three Tenors
Runtime: 2 hr 53 minLegendary tenors José Carreras, Plàcido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, together with conductor Zubin Mehta, celebrate the finale to soccer's 1994 World Cup with a live concert at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium before an estimated worldwide audience of more than one billion viewers. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus the tenors perform a selection of operatic arias and international favourites specially orchestrated by composer/arranger Lalo Schifrin. The result is an outstanding event, featuring world-renowned performers who share a passion for opera and football. The Vision (The Making of) takes us behind the scenes to watch as the story of the concert unfolds. In this exclusive film we see the three tenors relaxing, rehearsing and in concert, performing the Brindisi and Granada. And then six weeks later in Los Angeles, they are captured at their final dress rehearsal before the momentous concert.
Verdi: Don Carlo
Runtime: 3 hr 55 minGiuseppe Verdi's late opera Don Carlo delivers all the big topics while the ultra-simple décor in Peter Stein's production provides a spartan counterpoint to the dramatic action. With star tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the title role.
Live at O2
Runtime: 1 hr 30 minInternational star Katherine Jenkins first UK solo arena tour, celebrating her latest album "Believe" was heralded an outstanding success by fans and critics alike. Filmed at London's O2 Arena, Katherine takes her live performance to a phenomenal new level. This show presents Katherine as singer, dancer, actress and circus performer across a range of music running from virtuoso classical pieces to standards, cabaret and musical theatre. Directed by renowned choreographer Kim Gavin we are invited to enjoy fantastic performances from Katherine plus a troupe of singers, dancers, orchestra and band. This is Katherine Jenkins as you've never seen her before!
Sehnsucht - Münchner Rundfunkorchester
Runtime: 58 minBeethoven, Mozart, Weber and Wagner, performed by German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, under the direction of Michael Güttler.
This recital includes masterpieces such as Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön, from The Magic Flute by Mozart, In fernem Land, from Wagner's Lohengrin, the Valkyrie's Winterstürme, or excerpts from Weber's Freischütz.
Un Ballo in Maschera Act I
Runtime: 52 minThe outstanding production of Verdi’s Masked Ball at the Salzburg Festivals 1989 and 1990 was Herbert von Karajan’s legacy to the Festival. Supported by a cast of superlative actor-singers in opulent scenery, Sir George Solti agreed to conduct the opera at short notice after Karajan’s unexpected death in 1989. The production had been expected to be a highlight in Karajan’s series of Verdi operas at Salzburg. Karajan’s celebrated ability to unite a cultivated sound with dramatic effects was known to create extraordinary and highly acclaimed opera events. For Un ballo in maschera Karajan planned something unusual: He would not set the opera in colonial Massachusetts, as the censors had forced Verdi to do when he was composing the work, but in Stockholm in the 1790s at the court of King Gustav III of Sweden, as Verdi had originally conceived his work. Together with the film director John Schlesinger and his stage team, Karajan developed a concept that promised theatrical splendour equal to the musical excellence that the conductor and the handpicked cast of singers would surely provide in collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. But this was not to be: stage rehearsals had already begun for the opening performance of the 1989 festival when Karajan died on 16 July. Therefore it was extraordinarily lucky that a conductor of Sir Georg Solti’s standing, was prepared to undertake the task just a week before the premiere, and with the whole world watching. He and the staging by Hollywood film director John Schlesinger was acclaimed by audience and press alike.
Runtime: 1 hr 10 minThe legendary Luciano Pavarotti duets unforgettably with a host of the world’s greatest musical stars, including Elton John, Bono, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and many more, in a programme featuring such classics as Live Like Horses, Miss Sarajevo, The Magic Of Love, It’s A Man’s World and ’O sole mio.
Summer Night Concert 2015
Runtime: 1 hr 33 minThe Vienna Philharmonic performed its annual Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn, an open-air concert with free admission, in the unique ambience of the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Zubin Mehta conducted the Summer Night Concert with Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist.
This year's concert, which also represented the opening concert of the Vienna Festival, was attended by 100,000 visitors.
With this open-air concert in Schönbrunn, the Vienna Philharmonic wishes to provide all Viennese, as well as visitors to the city, with a special musical experience in the impressive setting of Schönbrunn Palace and its beautiful baroque gardens, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Runtime: 3 hr 35 minLohengrin is a Romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The opera has inspired other works of art. King Ludwig II of Bavaria named his fairy-tale castle "New Swan Castle", or "Neuschwanstein", after the Swan Knight. It was King Ludwig's patronage that later gave Wagner the means and opportunity to compose, build a theatre for, and stage his epic cycle The Ring of the Nibelung.
The most popular and recognizable part of the opera is the Bridal Chorus, better known as "Here Comes the Bride", often played as a processional at weddings in the West.