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Monica Bellucci felt “scared” about making her stage debut playing opera legend Maria Callas in a one-woman show.
The ‘ Spectre’ star portrays the soprano in the play ‘Letters and Memoirs’ in which she reads Callas’ previously unpublished writings to tell her life story in her own words – and Bellucci admits signing onto the project was incredibly daunting.
She told People.com: “I was scared, of course. First time on stage! I couldn’t say no because when I read the letters and the memoirs, everything was full of emotion and vulnerability, and it’s like if I could touch her soul.”
She added: “Theatre is a big risk … [But] beauty deserves risks. With this project, there was something so human, so poetic, that I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be a big risk, but I think it’s beautiful to give this to people’. And even though I was scared, when I was scared, I said, ‘Okay, I give love, so nothing can happen to me’.”
The play debuted in Paris, France back in 2019 and was a huge success. Bellucci went on to perform around the world in cities such as London, Rome and Los Angeles before taking the show to New York on Friday (27.01.23) for a one-night only performance at the Beacon Theater.
Bellucci says bringing the show to the Big Apple feels special because it is the city where Callas was born 100 years ago. She added: “It’s such a sign that we came to New York because Callas was born in New York in 1923, and we finish the tour in 2023, 100 years later when she was born. So it is a beautiful sign for me.”
Callas died in 1977 at the age of 53.