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Noomi Rapace to Play Maria Callas in Niki Caro’s Biopic

Noomi Rapace to Play Maria Callas in Niki Caro's Biopic

Noomi Rapace has been confirmed to star in “Callas,” director Niki Caro’s biopic of opera legend Maria Callas. It will focus on the soprano’s two-year relationship with billionaire Aristotle Onassis. 

Caro, who will also write the film, said of the production, “I have a great fascination for Maria Callas, who was such a powerful woman and artist, but also troubled and stuck in this very destructive relationship.” 

“Callas” will be Caro’s sixth feature. The New Zealand filmmaker came to international prominence with her second film, “Whale Rider.” Her most recent theatrical release was the Kevin Costner vehicle “McFarland.” 

Though Callas was only in her mid-thirties when she met the shipping magnate, her stage career was close to an end. Sources differ on why she stopped singing when she met Onassis; some say Callas lost herself in love, while others say that, given the relatively short span of an opera singer’s career, she was looking for a more stable lifestyle.

Interestingly, the two other previous works about Maria Callas are also about the legend’s life after fame. Franco Zeffirelli’s biopic “Callas Forever” takes place in the final year of its subject’s life and imagines the famed perfectionist being persuaded into lip-syncing to her old recordings. Terrence McNally’s play “Master Class” fictionalizes the courses the singer taught at Juilliard after she retired from the stage. 

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