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“La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas” Review

Review of “La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Written and performed by Shelly Cooper, and directed by Mariangela Chatzistamatiou.

What a gorgeous way to begin the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Beautiful opera and anecdotes from one of the most celebrated sopranos in the world – Maria Callas.

We are eavesdropping on the last interview with Maria Callas.  The invisible and never heard interviewer, Mr Wallace, is the perfect vehicle for our personal journey through Ms Callas’s life as she talks about her career we discover fascinating insights in to the myth that still exists.  Her love affair with music, her difficult childhood in occupied Greece during the war, her strengths, her weaknesses, her relationships and her incredible ability to survive anything. 

“La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas”
Review of “La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Her life was music. However, that is until she met Onassis and gave it all up for him. This play is punctuated with the music for which is she was most famous.

Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, arias all so beautifully performed by Ms Cooper that the presence of Maria Callas permeates every moment.

“Only when I sing do I feel loved,” Maria Callas famously said. The sadness of this is reflected in the voice. Perhaps, because of this, she sang unlike anyone else.  The most gifted artists lay themselves completely open for their audience. They become their song. Maria Callas was a master of that, of giving everything in every moment. 

Shelly Cooper captures La Divina perfectly. Her dry humour, her poise, her power and her beautiful beautiful voice. Strong, pure and infused with a magic that cannot be explained.

I loved this play. Shelly Cooper has adapted the final interview of Maria Callas short life and given it the perspective of her death. What she said about art, about her mother, singing, her marriage and Onassis, and why she stopped singing. As a result, we get a vivid lens through which we can truly see the artist and most importantly, hear her.  

It’s a stunning performance and a simple and moving tribute to La Divina. Bravo!!!!

What:

“La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

When:

Preview: 

August 7 @ 8:30

Performances:  

August 13 & 19 @ 8:30 
August  22 @ 2:30 

Where:

Hudson Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tickets:

www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7153

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceroshttps://www.imdb.com/name/nm4303729/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.