The 7 Deaths of Maria CallasMarina Abramović at the Bayerische Staatsoper

97 min
Available from 07/09/2020 to 07/10/2020

The Bayerische Staatsoper opens ARTE Opera’s 2020–2021 season with a premiere of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, an opera project by the performance artist Marina Abramović, in which seven different singers sing seven of Callas’s greatest roles under the baton of Yoel Gamzou.

“Vissi d’arte” – a life for art – is the aria in which the famous singer Floria Tosca nostalgically takes stock of her life before plunging a knife into the breast of the bestial cynic, Scarpia.It is a moment of calm before the storm and marks the turning point in the opera that seals the heroine’s fate.It is also one of the arias for which Maria Callas, the twentieth century’s prima donna assoluta, is most famous.

Marina Abramović has been fascinated by Callas – “The Tigress” as she calls her – for decades. And now she has conceived an opera project, 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, in which the seven stage deaths that mark the musical and dramatic climax of seven different operas – all of them arias that were of the utmost importance to Callas – are re-enacted. At the end of the evening, after seven films in which Marina Abramović appears seven times alongside Willem Dafoe, the performance artist herself enters the stage for one final re-enactment, that of Maria Callas’s own death in Paris in 1977.

The famous arias of the nineteenth and twentieth century are woven together by additional music composed by Marko Nikodijević. His score describes how Callas’s devotion to her art was so unconditional and so intense that the stage persona and private individual could no longer be separated.

Photo: Marco Anelli


  • Music :
    • Marko Nikodijević
  • With :
    • Marina Abramović
    • Willem Dafoe
    • Hera Hyesang Park (Violetta Valéry)
    • Selene Zanetti (Floria Tosca)
    • Leah Hawkins (Desdemona )
    • Gabriella Reyes (Cio-Cio-San)
    • Nadezhda Karyazina (Carmen )
    • Adela Zaharia (Lucia Ashton)
    • Lauren Fagan (Norma )
  • Director :
    • Marina Abramović
  • TV production :
    • Myriam Hoyer
  • Music director :
    • Yoel Gamzou
  • Orchestra :
    • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Sets :
    • Anna Schöttl
  • Costumes :
    • Riccardo Tisci
  • Video :
    • Marco Brambilla
  • Country :
    • Germany
  • Year :
    • 2020