The production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach.
An international co-production betweeen the Greek National Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence) and Opéra de Paris.
The new ambitious operatic project of the priestess of performance art Marina Abramović for the absolute diva, Maria Callas, is an international co-production of the Greek National Opera and the Bavarian State Opera (Munich), the Berlin State Opera, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival and the Opéra National de Paris.
«Vissi d'arte» - a love for her art. Shortly before the renowned singer Floria Tosca thrusts the knife into the chest of the beastly cynic Scarpia, she sings out her life in wistful retrospect. Although the aria marks the clam before the storm, the death of her adversary, this turning point in Giacomo Puccini's opera also points to Tosca's fate. Maria Callas, the primadonna assoluta of the 20th century, sang this aria many times. Marina Abramović has been fascinated by the life of the «Tigress», as Callas was known, for decades. She has now developed the Seven Deaths of Maria Callas opera project, in which seven deaths on stage are recreated in exemplary form on the basis of the musical and scenic formative highlights of the respective operas - all arias that were immensely important for Maria Callas. In seven films and together with Willem Dafoe, Marina Abramović will die seven times and at the end of the performance, with the real death of Maria Callas in Paris in 1977, will be on the stage performing as herself.
In addition to the well-known arias from the 19th and 20th centuries, Serbian composer Marko Nikodijević will compose music for the opera's musical arrangement, illustrating how Callas' unconditioned love for her art never allowed a separation between the person on stage and the private person.
Abramović notes: «For over 25 years I wanted to create a work dedicated to the life and art of Maria Callas. I was always enchanted by her personality, her life and even her death. Like many of the opera heroines she enacted on stage, so she herself died of love. She died of a broken heart».