Italian actress Monica Bellucci and her one-man show Maria Callas: Letters And Memoirs takes the stage at New York’s Beacon Theater for one night only on Friday, January 27.
The stage show, which marks the star’s first time performing in a play, has been an international hit since he began his run with Bellucci as a legendary opera singer at Paris’s Théâtre Marigny in 2019 .
For Bellucci, who made her stage debut with Letters and Memoirs, she never thought the show would become such a global phenomenon.
“It was crazy, and we didn’t expect to come to New York,” confessed the 58-year-old native of Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy. People. “And that’s such a sign that we came to New York because Callas was born in New York in 1923, and we’re ending the tour in 2023, 100 years later when she was born. So that’s a beautiful sign for me.
Global success: Monica Bellucci, 58, told People what inspired her to take on her first stage performance playing legendary opera singer Maria Callas in Letters And Memoirs, ahead of a one-night engagement at the Beacon New York Theater Friday, January 27
Letters And Memoirs continued to play around the world with stops in Athens, Rome, Milan, London and Los Angeles, just before arriving in New York, Callas’ hometown.
Conducted by Tom Volf and accompanied by the Wordless Music Orchestra, Bellucci recites unpublished letters and writings by Callas to tell his entire life story in his own words.
During her performance, the actress interprets the writings of Callas (born Maria Anna Cecilia Sophie Kalogeropoulou), beginning with her childhood in New York and her operatic debut in Italy, to the pinnacle of world fame, which was ultimately complicated by scandal, love and personal difficulties.
Bellucci admitted that she was afraid to take on the role initially, but she couldn’t resist because “the letters were so beautiful”, and Volf asked her “to be part of the project”.
Beauty Wins: When asked why she took such a big risk to play Callas in her debut show, Bellucci replied, “Because beauty deserves risk”; she is seen in September 2022
“I was scared, of course. First time on stage! I couldn’t say no because when I read the letters and the memoirs, everything was full of emotion and vulnerability, and it was like I could touch his soul,’ she explained to about his reaction to the premise.
She added: “What pushed me into this project was the duality of Maria Callas. The diva, the divina, the dona, immense talent. At the same time, the simple-hearted woman, the one who died of sadness, of a broken heart.
Callas was born in New York in December 1923, then moved with her family to the heir country of Greece, and eventually rose to stardom in Italy, eventually earning distinction as one of the most renowned opera singers and most influential of the 20th century. .
Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide voice, and dramatic renditions. Her musical and dramatic talents have led her to be hailed as “the divine”.
The second half of Callas’ career was marked by a number of scandals, including an affair with Aristotle Onassis while still married to her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini.
Scandals: The second half of Callas’ career was marked by a number of scandals, including an affair with Aristotle Onassis (pictured with her in 1960) while still married to husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini.
In 1966, Callas renounced her American citizenship at the American Embassy in Paris to facilitate the end of her marriage to Meneghini.
With her waiver, Callas would only be considered a Greek citizen, and under Greek law at the time, a Greek could only legally marry in a Greek Orthodox church. As she had married in a Roman Catholic church, this cemented her divorce in Greece.
The relationship ended two years later in 1968, when Onassis left Callas for Jacqueline Kennedy.
Callas spent her final years living mostly in isolation in Paris, and died of a heart attack aged 53 in September 1977.
Worldwide career: After making her film debut in the Italian comedy La Riffa (1991) by Francesco Laudadio, Bellecci then starred in films such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), The Passion of the Christ (2004), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003) and Specter (2015); she is seen as Lucia Sciarra in the movie 007
When asked why she took such a big risk to play Callas in her first show, Bellucci replied, “Because beauty deserves risk.”
She continued: “With this project, there was something so human, so poetic, that I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be a big risk, but I think it’s beautiful to give that to people. And even though I was scared, when I was scared, I said, “Okay, I give love, so nothing can happen to me.” ‘
After making his film debut in the Italian comedy La Riffa (1991) by Francesco Laudadio, Bellecci went on to appear in Dracula (1992) by Bram Stoker, The Apartment (1997), Irreversible (2002), The Passion of the Christ ( 2004), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), The Whistleblower (2010), Specter (2015) and The Man Who Sold His Skin (2020).