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Marina Abramovic Will Star in 'Seven Deaths' - A Film Based on Opera Singer Maria Callas - With Roman Polanski Directing

By Jaime Prisco j.prisco@classicalite.com on Dec 05, 2014 08:35 PM EST

Performance artist, Marina Abramovic, will be filming a series of short films titled “Seven Deaths,” where she will play the part of legendary opera singer, Maria Callas. Roman Polanski will be directing the outing.

Abramovic first conceived the idea 25 years ago, but is just now seeing her dream come to life. She plans to not only embody Callas, but also the opera heroines that the soprano personified on stage. The production will consist of seven 10-minute video performances that focus on the operatic death scene of each heroine in every libretto. The operas include “Carmen,“ Tosca,” Madam Butterfly,” and “La Traviata.” The film will be interrelated with the seven pieces sharing an overall narrative.

“I [have been] obsessed with this unbelievably romantic idea of dying for love,” Abramovic says. “It’s my story, but it’s definitely related to Callas and my complete craziness for her. She died of a broken heart.”

Abramovic has invited leading directors in the film industry to collaborate with her on this project. So far, five have agreed: Roman Polanski, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Marco Brambilla, Giada Colagrande and Yorgos Lanthimos. Director Lars von Trier was invited as well, but decline because of a scheduling conflict.

The artist, who is currently in Miami, is putting all other engagements on hold once she returns to focus on her project. Norwegian writer, Petter Skavlan, has completed the general script and the scripts for each opera are due to be finish within the month. Abramovic is also planning on creating a documentary that will show behind-the-scenes interviews with directors, as well as portraying her life and death from a heart attack in 1977.

Abramovic has tackled mortality before, notably in “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic,” which premiered in 2011. But “Seven Deaths” will mark the end of her morbid streak. “Finishing The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic was one thing. When I finish ‘Seven Deaths’, I’m done with dying,” she says.

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TagsMarina Abramovic, film, Maria Callas, Roman Polanski, Opera, Carmen, Madam Butterfly, Marco Brambilla, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu, Giada Colagrande, Yorgos Lanthimos