Lisson Gallery

English National Opera to present Marina Abramović's opera '7 deaths of Maria Callas'

18 April 2023

In the 2023/24 Season at the London Coliseum, the English National Opera (ENO) will present the acclaimed production of Marina Abramović's 7 Deaths of Maria Callas. In this highly anticipated UK premiere, Abramović makes her ENO debut with her production of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, exploring the life, work and death of one of opera’s greatest stars. Tickets are now on sale.

Callas - whose private life was never quite able to be separated from her performances - has fascinated Abramović for decades, conceiving this operatic project as a homage and exploration of the great prima donna. This staging marks 100 years since the world renowned American-born Greek soprano was born.

Abramović first heard Maria Callas when she was 14 years old in Yugoslavia. Since Callas’s voice caught her attention at a young age, Abramović has been drawn to their similarities; from their shared physical features to their personal attributes and relationships.

Immortalised through her place in popular culture, Callas (sometimes referred to as ‘La Divina’ - the divine one) is invoked on stage through a series of her most famous arias from La traviata, Tosca, Madam Butterfly, Carmen, Otello, Lucia di Lamermoor and Norma, with new music by Serbian Composer Marko Nikodijevic.

Accompanying each of these aria performances are a series of short films starring Abramović and actor Willem Dafoe. Present on stage throughout the performance, Abramović plays the sleeping Callas, haunted by her greatest roles, in a set that recreates the Paris apartment where Callas died.

In addition to performing in this ‘truthful and mesmerising declaration of love to Callas’ (Bachtrack), Abramović both directed and designed the operatic project. Leading the award-winning ENO Orchestra is American Conductor Yoel Gamzou.

English National Opera to present Marina Abramović's opera '7 deaths of Maria Callas'
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