Monica Bellucci Takes on Her First Stage Present as Opera Legend Maria Callas: ‘Magnificence Deserves Dangers’ Monica Bellucci in Maria Callas Monica Bellucci in Maria Callas

Italian display siren Monica Bellucci makes the leap to the stage by embodying Twentieth-century soprano Maria Callas.

In Letters and Memoirs, directed by Tom Volf and taking part in in New York on the Beacon Theater on Friday, Jan. 27, Bellucci, 58, channels the Greek opera legend as she recites Callas’ beforehand unpublished letters and writings to inform the singer’s full story in her personal phrases.

The one-woman present started its run with Bellucci at Paris’ Théâtre Marigny in 2019 and has continued to carry out world wide, together with in Athens, Rome, Milan and at Her Majesty Theater in London. It performed in Los Angeles earlier than arriving in New York for a single-night engagement.

As Bellucci tells PEOPLE, she by no means anticipated the present to turn into a global phenomenon.

“It was loopy, and we by no means anticipated to return to New York,” she marvels. “And it is such an indication that we got here to New York as a result of Callas was born in New York in 1923, and we end the tour in 2023, 100 years later when she was born. So it’s a stunning signal for me.”

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TOPSHOT - Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci poses for photos in New York City on December 6, 2022. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Italian actress and mannequin Monica Bellucci poses for images in New York Metropolis on December 6, 2022. (Picture by Ed JONES / AFP) (Picture by ED JONES/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

ED JONES/AFP by way of Getty

How did you come to take part on this mission?

Tom had the concept to make the present as a result of the letters had been so stunning, and he requested me to be a part of this mission. I used to be scared, in fact. First time on stage! I could not say no as a result of after I learn the letters and the memoirs, every part was filled with emotion and vulnerability, and it is like if I might contact her soul.

What moved me into this mission is Maria Callas’ duality. The diva, the divina, the dona, immense expertise. On the identical time, the lady with a easy coronary heart, the one who died of disappointment, of a damaged coronary heart.

I believe she’s nonetheless inspiring in the present day as a result of she was a fighter. She fought for freedom, she wished to divorce in a second the place divorce was forbidden in Italy, and in addition she had the braveness to comply with her coronary heart. And she or he was additionally unpredictable as a result of she sacrificed all her childhood and youth for her work. When folks stated that she had a tragic life, possibly we should always say that she led a courageous life.

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What was your impression of her while you first learn her letters and memoirs?

I felt that I might hook up with her as a result of there may be all the time a duality between the individual and the picture.

There may be all the time a duality between how we reside to outlive and the way we really feel. And for artists, it is even worse. I believe it is so harmful when the individual and the picture are the identical. Whenever you play, you give part of your self, however it’s not all your self. It is the illustration of life, however it’s not the life. And when it is the life, it turns into harmful. When the picture and the individual are the identical factor, it is very harmful to confuse the picture and the individual as a result of it is you however not all of you.

In our work, we’re so uncovered to the folks. However part of us may be very lonely. Particularly to be an actor, to be a singer, every part is creative as a result of even the method it’s a must to undergo to create a personality, to create a task, you are very lonely when you decide and the right way to create what you do.

Then the results of that, it is the publicity in public, in entrance of individuals, connecting with others. However the second you create, the second you select what to do, it is you and no person else. I might perceive this loneliness.

You speak about your craft like a real artist.

Possibly as a result of I am very Mediterranean. Callas additionally lived in Italy — she was throughout. She was born in New York, she went to Greece, she grew to become a star in Italy, then she died in Paris. So she was a foreigner wherever she was.

Do you are feeling like that in any respect?

I might hook up with that. Yeah, as a result of I come from Italy, however I do not reside there. I’ve a spot there, however I am going there infrequently. My household’s in Italy, I am going usually, however I do not reside there. I reside in Paris. So though it has been a very long time I am in Paris, however nonetheless you are not French. By means of my work, I’ve the likelihood to go throughout.

You are a fearless artist in your decisions — from making controversial movies like Irreversible to leaping into your first stage manufacturing.

And passionate. Typically after I suppose why, I do not know. Theater is an enormous threat.

Why take these dangers?

As a result of magnificence deserves dangers. With this mission, there was one thing so human, so poetic, that I stated, “Oh my God, it is going to be an enormous threat, however I believe it is stunning to provide this to folks.” And though I used to be scared, after I was scared, I stated, “Okay, I give love, so nothing can occur to me.”

You sound like a pure born artist, however earlier than you started performing you studied regulation!

Yeah, I studied regulation, however then I did some vogue. However my dream was performing, from when I was a toddler. My mother and father, after they had been younger and I keep in mind they used to go to cinema. And after they would come again from the cinema, my mom, my father, they’d inform me the story of the movie. I used to be like 7, 8. It was as if was I used to be seeing motion pictures I wasn’t in a position to see but — via them. After which after I was a youngster, I might see even two movies a day. I used to be actually all the time loving the world of picture. Monica Bellucci in Maria Callas Monica Bellucci in Maria Callas

Whenever you look again in your profession, do you ever pinch your self?

I am very grateful. I do know that I am fortunate to have the possibility to work in so many international locations with completely different administrators. As a result of it is not simply touching a movie but additionally touching a distinct tradition, to make a French film, an Italian film, an American film. It is so unbelievable, and I do know that I am very fortunate. However then additionally in the present day I am a grown-up lady, and I do know that I am fortunate that I nonetheless have the possibility to work at my age.

And now in the present day, in fact, I like it. I am nonetheless passionate in my life about my work and every part. However now you realize the true factor in life: After all your work is necessary, however then it is necessary to have family and friends and have a full life with humanity round you.

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