“The irony couldn’t have been more vivid when Maria Callas sang the words ‘The dead don’t rise again from the grave,’ from Verdi’s opera Macbeth, on stage Friday night at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg, Va.,” writes Tom Huizenga on Tuesday (11/6) at National Public Radio. “It was, appropriately, All Souls Day, as the greatest opera singer of modern times, dressed in a white sleeveless gown and shawl … fully inhabited Verdi’s unhinged, hallucinating character. But it was the audience, of course, who was seeing things. It wasn’t the real Callas…. It was a surprisingly life-like, and literally electric, three-dimensional hologram of the diva, lip-synching to her famous recordings, accompanied by a live orchestra. Callas in Concert is a 90-minute show, produced by BASE Hologram, a Los Angeles company currently mounting the Callas tour … directed by veteran opera director Stephen Wadsworth. Conductor Eímear Noone travels with the Callas production to lead local ensembles, in this case a vibrant Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. The experience forced me to wade through the fluid boundaries between truth and fiction today, what role technology plays and classical music’s special relationship with the dead…. There were moments Friday night that felt unsettlingly real.”

Posted November 7, 2018