Callas in Norma II

Towards the end of this reportage, at c. 7:30, you will find what is probably the most important footage of Callas in staged opera apart from the two versions of Tosca Act II.

The director Sandro Sequi, who studied dancing with Clotilde and Alexandre Sakharoff (himself a student of Isadora Duncan), saw Sakharoff’s methods reflected in Callas’s movements on stage.
This alternation of tension and relaxation can exert an incredible hold over the public. I believe this was the key to Callas’s magnetism, why her singing and acting were so compelling. Think of the movements of her arms in the Mad Scene of Lucia. They were like the wings of a great eagle, a marvelous bird. When they went up, and she often moved them very slowly, they seemed heavy—not heavy like a dancer’s arms, but weighted. Then, she reached the climax of a musical phrase, her arms relaxed and flowed into the next gesture, until she reached a new musical peak, and then again calm. There was a continuous line to her singing and movements, which were really very simple.


  1. Merci Marion :-)

  2. Mais je vous en prie ! Merci à vous.