August 07, 2018
The Maria Callas experience brought vividly to life via Hologram
‘I don’t know what happens to me on stage. Something else seems to take over.’ –Maria Callas
A new generation of opera lovers can experience the larger-than-life diva Maria Callas perform live in a worldwide concert tour, in the form of a three-dimensional hologram. BASE Hologram has captured Callas at the height of her powers with innovative technology and finely-honed stagecraft for a unique and compelling show: Callas in Concert — The Hologram Tour.
BASE Hologram has partnered with Warner Classics, the sole guardian of La Divina’s recorded legacy, to curate the official soundtrack and playlist of the tour. The Callas in Concert album mirrors the program and encores of the stage show, with her original iconic recordings, re-mastered in 24-bit/96kHz sound at Abbey Road Studios. (For The Hologram Tour, a team of highly experienced sound engineers isolated the voice of Callas so that her hologram incarnation could once again take the stage with a live orchestra.) The recital includes many of the arias in which she proved her prowess on stage and in the studio, and in which she remains unrivalled today: Bellini’s Casta Diva, Puccini’s Vissi d’Arte, Bizet’s L’Amour est un oiseau rebelle, among others.
This unique performance concept has been directed with expertise, respect and love by The Juilliard School’s Stephen Wadsworth (Masterclass), a veteran of the hallowed halls in which Callas reigned supreme, including La Scala, the Met and Covent Garden. ‘The event will appeal to generations of audiences who never experienced Callas and who may know little about her beyond her reputation, as well as to opera lovers who are very familiar with her work, her recordings, and her complex life story,’ said Wadsworth. ‘We’ve had the opportunity to curate one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and we must do that with great care – from her fantastically diverse repertoire to her revealing gestural language and her complicated relationship with her audience. We are all in different ways close to Callas’ influence, because her work had a huge impact on every artist working in music, opera, acting, stage design and fashion.’
It’s the Maria Callas comeback we could only have dreamed of. The New York Times has hailed it ‘amazing...Callas – eerily, well, radiant in a white satiny gown and rich red stole – was recreated for the occasion, down to the minutest movements of her hands and the subtlest facial gestures.
‘Callas, a symbol of chic, remains an object of fascination extending even beyond opera fans. Perhaps the hologram will introduce some newcomers to her incredible artistry; I’d urge everyone to listen to Callas’s extensive discography. Like so many now, I loved her without ever seeing her live; this holographic specter was weirdly tantalizing.’
Although Maria Callas died, aged just 53, as long ago as September 1977, she remains the epitome of the operatic diva: the American-born Greek soprano who defined, and even redefined, opera in the 20th century, and who has never lost her place among the world’s top-selling classical artists. With music from the Warner Classics catalogue, BASE Hologram captures Callas at the height of her glory. She returns to the stage, in all her grandeur, confirming her immortality to stunned audiences. As this unprecedented performance unfolds, audiences will surrender all notions of what is real and get lost in the magic of undoubtedly the greatest opera singer of all time.
Official Maria Callas website
Maria Callas Official Instagram (@mariacallasofficial)
The official soundtrack out 14 September to coincide with the international Callas Hologram tour. (See www.maria-callas.com for more details.)