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Maria Callas en acte: l’identification d’un monstre sacré

Anne-Laetitia GARCIA


Between 1947 and 1965, Maria Callas developed not only an unconventional style of operatic singing while reviving the bygone technique of bel canto, but also her consummate acting. With her, the dramatic essence of the operatic genre sprang forth anew on the stage: the performing body combined with the singing body, seeing combined with hearing. The opera diva became then a sacred monster of the stage. The study of Luchino Visconti’s five operatic productions and of the correspondence effects he contrived as a director – the starting points of our analysis – opens up new paths which enable us to comprehend both today’s reception and yesterday’s efficacy. From a genealogy of public idols and acting techniques to the problematics of the Ut Pictura Theatrum, analogical confrontations with various references from the performing arts, the fine arts and the cinema – and even the orthodox icon –, reveal prospects for analysis and bring to light fundamental aesthetic notions.

Keywords: Maria Callas, diva, acting, woman’s status in performative arts, icon, cinema