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Published: 01 October 2021

By Andy Ross

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Seven Deaths

Maria Callas and Marina Abramovic share a stage in this extraordinary film of seven operatic death scenes.

The film, accompanied by seven alabaster sculptures, is a slow-moving presentation from the operas that Callas made her own, giving a definitive performance of each final scene. In her representation of the singer's work, the performance artist relives her own fascination with Maria Callas, which developed at an early age. Upon hearing the singer in her grandmother's kitchen the 14 year old girl burst into tears because of the emotion in the voice. As Abramovic grew older she found her own life echoed some of Callas' - strength, vulnerability, despair and curse. 

'Maria Callas was so strong on stage and so unhappy and lonely in life. And she died for love. In my case, I was so much in love it almost killed me but then my work saved me. But her work actually didn't help her to survive. I kind of blame her for this. When you have so much talent as she had, you are not allowed to give up, because this talent doesn't only belong to you, it belongs to all of us.'

You can see a trailer of the film on the Marina Abramovic Institute website for a taste of the fabulous spectacle and scroll down that page to see the costumes by Riccardo Tisci for Burberry. The video below is of Maria Callas performing Casta Diva from Norma in 1958 in Paris.