Documentary from Back Lane Studios.
“Callas is THE opera diva par excellence. To witness one of her performances is to be transformed by her. Her incredible musicality coupled with her masterful grasp over different languages made her the most important bel canto singer of the last century.”
That’s how pianist Stéphane Mayer, who rehearses performers at the Canadian Opera Company, describes the enormous talent of this artist, born in New York City and raised during World War II in Greece. Mayer, with mezzo soprano Simona Genga, will perform two of Callas’s signature arias and introduce a 90-minute documentary about her career and her life.
The event is part of Back Lane Studios’ Extraordinary Women series, which supports the neighbourhood not-for-profit’s video and photography programs for kids and adults.
The arc of Callas’s life is operatic in its scope. She scaled the heights of her art and of jet-set society, only to lose her voice and the love of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. She died at 53. About the Documentary: Maria Callas: Life and Art features footage of Callas in interviews and performance, set in a context of commentaries by people who knew and worked with her. The film also sketches the background of her early life in New York City, her years in Greece after her mother left her father, and the steps that led to her stellar career.
About our Guests: Pianist Stéphane Mayer and Mezzo Soprano Simona Genga represent a new generation that has embraced opera. They will offer their perspectives on how Callas changed that world and the powerful influence she continues to have.
Mayer, a graduate of McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, studied under noted Canadian pianists Kyoko Hashimoto and Michael McMahon. In the Canadian Opera Company’s 2016/2017 season, he was a rehearsal pianist for Norma, The Magic Flute and Louis Riel, as well as music director for Matthew Aucoin’s Second Nature. He has many other professional credits ot his name.
Genga, who hails from Woodbridge, Ont., has just won first prize this month in the COC’s annual Ensemble Studio Competition at the Four Seasons Centre, earning $11,500 and landing contracts for next year. She is currently pursuing her masters in opera performance at the University of Toronto,
General Admission: $15
Bronze Members, Seniors, and Students: $13
Silver Members: $12
Gold Members: FREE