“Only when I was singing did I feel loved…to sing is an expression of your being, a being which is becoming”
“Maria” is an audio/visual composition of archive materials in different legacy formats and newly shot footage. The ecstatic experience of operatic drama, expressive gesture, opulence and despair, sacrifice and highly wrought scenes are extracted from existing footage. The piercing of the voice as it transcends the limits of the body creates for the viewer a landscape of emotion drawn around Maria Callas as a central icon around which the event of the film takes place.
In the roles for the woman’s voice, opera as the expression of suffering, what escapes suffering, what escapes language. They say that pitch evokes for us a highly charged, primordial cry from out of time, even the calls of animals and birds. It pierces with fury; it fills the theatre stage to resound with the operatic cry. An impossible pitch which shatters the space of the opera stage. The gleaming bitter video of a new Medea whose archaic voice trembles in mid-air, an Oom Kalsoum of undulating wails, the voice of a popular diva of flowers and swirling train riding the waves on the floor of wooden studios with hammering feet. A Lola Flores, that mixes in the airwaves with the TV footage, an Aida with pendulous earrings and pharaonic eye-liner. Oh, Maria, what language do you speak? Oh, Maria Santissima how beautiful you are. An exalted art, an impossible voice. Oh, beautiful surface of the future image. Oh, image deified in the colour red. Oh reproduction and resurrection. Oh, recordings and re-recordings, subjected to treatments, to find the voice which resonates with the original lost one that each woman recreates again and again. Transverberates, transverberates. Mixing.
MARIA has been awarded an Excellence Award by the Department of Art, Goldsmiths. It will be released in December 2023