In her centenary year, Volf Productions and Composite Films have revealed that one of Maria Callas’ greatest filmed performances has now been meticulously restored from the original reels in colour, 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos surround sound for the big screen.
Fresh from being selected in the History of Cinema category to be shown as a Special Screening at this year’s Rome Film Festival, CALLAS – PARIS, 1958 – directed and produced by the team behind the award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary, Maria By Callas (2017) – will be released in cinemas globally throughout November and December courtesy of Piece of Magic Entertainment.
Callas made her Paris debut with this legendary performance at the sumptuous Paris Opéra on December 19th, 1958, for one night only. It was a major social event, attended by “Le Tout Paris” (including French President Coty, Jean Cocteau, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, Charlie Chaplin, Brigitte Bardot, and many more).
Callas appeared on the famous stage wearing her most elegant couture and a million dollars’ worth of jewellery. She opened with her signature role, Norma’s “Casta diva”, followed by the haunting “Miserere” scene from Verdi’s Il Trovatore, before she lightened the mood with the mischievous “Una voce poco fa” from Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The climax of the evening came in the second half: a fully staged performance of Tosca, Act II.
The repertoire in this performance shows Callas at her best, both in recital and as an operatic actress. Visual elements were as important as the vocal dimensions in her art.
Available for the first time entirely in colour and in 4K Ultra HD – meticulously restored from the recently discovered original 16mm reels and a newly discovered sound source – this is an opportunity to experience this historical performance as never before.
The Dolby Atmos sound, equally precious, has been lovingly restored, drawn directly from Callas’s personal archives. Every note, every nuance of her unparalleled voice has been preserved for posterity. The painstaking sound mix and mastering were entrusted to the skilled hands of Miraval Studios, ensuring that the auditory experience is as captivating as the visual one.
‘CALLAS – PARIS, 1958’ will be in cinemas exclusively in November and December 2023; visit MariaCallas.Film to book your tickets now.