Callas in concert: as grim as it gets

Anna Picard in the Times this morning manages, out of the goodness of her heart, to find one solitary star for the Callas in Concert hologram show at the London Coliseum:

Heavily glossed with reverb, the amplified orchestra-with-no-name chugged joylessly through repertoire that the real Callas had recorded with the Philharmonia and the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano under conductors such as Serafin, Prêtre and Giulini. Equalised at the mixing desk to a degree that stripped this distinctive voice of its tannic, acidic extremes and smudged the meticulous artistry of the phrasing, Norma’s Casta diva, Lady Macbeth’s Vieni, t’affretta and even Ophelia’s Á vos jeux, mes amis acquired a dull, tranquillised haze, as did we.

The trouble with holograms is that they cannot respond to a live audience….

Read on here.

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  • Anon says:

    It must have been like watching a singing version of the Turin Shroud and about as illuminating.

  • Caravaggio says:

    The future is now. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Quite sad that the strange fixation with this Maria Callas sees no end. Surely EMI is behind all this marketing and repackaging of her. Ad nauseam.

  • The View from America says:

    Well, that was embarrassing. Thank you for including us.

  • Julian Taylor says:

    It was somewhat excruciating. Having Callas glide in ghostlike from stage left seemed irrelevant – at the end they just faded her from the stage. The orchestra was not good and I fail to see why at the very least they did not make use of the ENO orchestra. An odd habit of introducing each piece by playing the prelude meant that there was not much of Callas. Maybe there are not sufficient digitised Callas recordings?

    I hope that they don’t mess up the Amy Winehouse hologram tour.

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