Maria Callas Returns to the Lyric Opera House for One Night Only on Saturday, September 7 at 7:30pm
CHICAGO (8/20/2019) – Legendary opera diva Maria Callas will return to the Lyric Opera House, 64 years after her final opera performance here and 42 years after her death. Singing arias by Rossini, Verdi, Gounod, Bizet and more with members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra performing live onstage, conducted by Eímear Noone, the legendary artist again takes the Lyric stage with Callas in Concert: The Hologram Tour on Saturday, September 7 at 7:30pm.
Through cutting-edge technology and extraordinary theatrical stagecraft, this BASE Hologram production is a first-of-its-kind live concert tour. The fabled opera artist returns to Lyric through breathtaking state-of-the-art digital and laser projection for a live full concert experience featuring original recordings that have been digitally remastered.
Maria Callas holds a special place in the history of Lyric Opera of Chicago, having made her American debut in the title role of Bellini’s Norma in 1954, to open the company’s very first season. That same year, she triumphed as Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, and the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor — singing two performances of each of the three operas in just over two weeks, a marvelous vocal and dramatic feat. Callas opened Lyric’s 1955 season as Elvira in Bellini’s I puritani, followed by Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore and Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly — her only staged performances of that role. When a third performance was added, it sold out the 3,563-seat house in 98 minutes. In 1974 Callas returned to the opera house for a recital with famed tenor Giuseppe di Stefano.
Callas’s return to the Lyric stage in this unique way stands as a testament to her heartrending vulnerability, fierce confidence, breathtaking grace, and enduring appeal as an unequaled singing actress. Audiences will bear witness as she inhabits her operatic characters and evokes the drama that inspired her devotees to call her "La Divina." She remains one of classical music's best-selling vocalists and, arguably, the greatest soprano who has ever lived.
Callas in Concert is scripted and directed by Creative Director Stephen Wadsworth, a veteran of many productions at opera houses associated with Callas, including La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Wadsworth, who has directed Terrence McNally’s play about Callas, Master Class, on Broadway, is the director of postgraduate opera studies program at The Juilliard School.
"We put a lot of thought and effort into both the program and creating Callas’s character to bring an authentic experience to the stage," says Wadsworth. "Audience members will leave with a sense of admiration at her remarkable ability to cultivate a relationship with each viewer through her emotion and dramatic conviction."
The New York Times calls the concert, "Amazing...strangely captivating," while National Public Radio praised the "surprisingly life-like, and literally electric, three-dimensional hologram of the diva...unsettlingly real."
For tickets and more information, go to lyricopera.org/Callas or call 312-827-5600. Tickets range from $39-$125.