Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci has collaborated with Marina Abramović on the costume design for her new opera project ‘7 Deaths of Maria Callas’, which has its world premiere tonight at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany.
Following a lifelong study of the opera singer Maria Callas, the world-renowned performance artist Marina Abramović has developed this opera project together with the composer Marko Nikodijević. Using famous Callas scenes from Carmen, Tosca, Otello, Lucia di Lammermoor, Norma, Madama Butterfly and La Traviata, Marina illuminates both the tragic fates of Callas’s characters and the life story of the American-born Greek soprano. Marina directs and designed the set, and will be seen on stage. She also collaborated with the actor Willem Dafoe on a film created especially for the world premiere. ‘7 Deaths of Maria Callas’ will continue to perform in Berlin, Athens and Paris.
The costume design for ‘7 Deaths of Maria Callas’ is a collaboration between close friends Marina Abramović and Riccardo Tisci. The design process was a joint creative experience, evolving the dramatic, theatrical costumes of opera and reinterpreting them through a modern lens. Riccardo continues to experiment with design craft and techniques, as well as freedom of expression, reimagining the historical notions of masculine and feminine style. The costumes play an integral part in the artistic performance as they serve as a key component in the characters’ journey in each scene.
‘I am a romantic dreamer at my core, so this was a very easy project to get involved with. The subject is one of love in all its forms, from the light to the dark. Marina is one of my great personal loves and I feel privileged to call her my friend and my family. She is one of the world’s most daring and brave artists, and it’s an incredible honour to collaborate with her once again on a subject that is so close to both of our hearts.’ Riccardo Tisci, Burberry Chief Creative Officer
‘I have wanted to make ‘7 Deaths’ for 30 years. To die from a broken heart is the thread which draws together each opera in a project which is centred around love and its forms, as much as my relationship with Riccardo. When the opportunity for this project started to become real, there was no other team I wanted to work with: Riccardo had to make all the costumes because we are love, he is fashion and I am art, two worlds that cross over in a creative dialogue of love, respect and freedom. I am so proud of this work as a team and grateful to Riccardo for teaching me how to be elegant and confident as a woman in my life and in my performances.’ Marina Abramović
‘7 Deaths of Maria Callas’ will also be live streamed on Staatsoper.Tv on 5 September 2020 at 6:30pm CEST and will be available to watch on demand for 30 days from 7 September 2020.