Icona Callas

Thursday, 23 November 2023
Fotografia del volto di Maria Callas

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Maria Callas, the University of Turin - as part of the UniVerso project - has organized Icona Callas, a schedule of initiatives designed in synergy and collaboration with important cultural institutions. The program includes exhibitions, performances and meetings with personalities from the world of arts, entertainment and culture, with the aim of offering a multifaceted portrait of Maria Callas through various languages and expressive forms.

Maria Callas at 100: Opera, Celebrity, Myth

International conference, 17th-20th December 2023

Teatro Regio (Piazza Castello 215), Aula Magna della Cavallerizza Reale (via Verdi 9) e Aula Magna del Rettorato, (via Verdi 8).


On the occasion of the centenary of Maria Callas' birth, University of Turin-UniVerso, in collaboration with Fondazione Teatro Regio Torino and Consulta Universitaria del Cinema, promotes the international conference "Maria Callas at 100: Opera, Celebrity, Myth", taking place from December 17th to 20th, 2023. The conference will address, from a transmedial and multidisciplinary perspective, the figure of Maria Callas, an artistic personality who has left a significant mark on the history of opera and, more broadly, on the collective imagination, becoming a true icon of the 20th Century. Her vocal style marked a turning point in the interpretation and reception of opera in contemporary culture, with a disruptive impact on other arts, from literature to cinema, from visual arts to performance.


Opening the conference on Sunday, December 17th, at 4:00 p.m. in the Aula Magna of Cavallerizza Reale, there will be a panel dedicated to the archives of organizations and institutions that house important documents depicting Maria Callas from various perspectives. 


On the same day at 6:30 p.m., the inauguration of the four exhibitions proposed by the 'Icona Callas' project will take place in the Palazzo del Rettorato.

Seven Deaths by Marina Abramović

Video Installation, opening on December 17th 2023
Galleria UniVerso, Palazzo del Rettorato, via Verdi 8.


"Seven Deaths" offers an immersive video experience through Marina Abramović's reinterpretation of the protagonists’ deaths in Carmen, Tosca, Otello, Lucia di Lammermoor, Norma, Madama Butterfly and La Traviata. The seven moments coincide with the themes and representational choices adopted by the artist herself in her live-action work, 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, which premiered in 2020 at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.


In collaboration with Marina Abramović Institute.

Callas/Medea. History of a Record

Exhibition, opening on December 17th 2023
Sala Athenaeum, Palazzo del Rettorato, via Verdi 8.


The exhibition reconstructs the history of Medea by Luigi Cherubini played by Mara Callas, a legendary record not only for the quality of the artists and professionals involved in its creation, but also because it marked Casa Ricordi's entry into the world of recording with the Dischi Ricordi label, which would later give birth to the Italian phenomenon of "singer-songwriters".


In collaboration with Archivio Storico Ricordi.

Maria Callas offstage. Portraits from the Archivio Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo

Photographic Exhibition, opening on December 17th 2023
Courtyard, Palazzo del Rettorato, via Verdi 8.


The exhibition, set-up with the pictures by Agenzia Publifoto preserved at Archivo Storico Intesa Sanpaolo at Gallerie d’Italia, presents a selection of photographs of Maria Callas on scenic maxi panels that interact with the architecture of the Rettorato courtyard.


In collaboration with Archivio Publifoto at Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo and Gallerie d’Italia.

I am Maria Callas by Vanna Vinci

Exhibition, opening on December 17th 2023
Biblioteca Storica Arturo Graf, Palazzo del Rettorato, via Verdi 8.


The exhibition presents a selection of original drawings created by the renowned cartoonist Vanna Vinci for her graphic novel dedicated to Maria Callas. The sharp, thick stroke, with mostly black-and-white plates interrupted by well-calibrated appearances of color, tending toward the red of Maria Callas' lips and the velvet of the curtain, allows the reader to delve into the singer's life with tact and sensitivity.


In collaboration with ONO arte.

100 + 1: Maria Callas and Irene Papas

Recital, December 8th 2023

Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi”, Concert Hall, via Mazzini 11.


The recital, conceived and produced by Maria Mitsopoulou with direction by Nikaiti Kontouri, pays tribute to Maria Callas a hundred years after her birth by relating her artistic journey to that of Irene Papas, another icon of Greek culture of the20th Century, who passed away last year. A multimedia reflection on the Hellenic identity expressed by the two artists in both life and art.


In collaboration with Conservatorio Statale di Musica "Giuseppe Verdi", Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino, and Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

Maria Callas and Cinema

Film Festival, December 8th-11th 2023
Cinema Massimo, via Verdi 18.


  • Friday, December 8th 4:00 p.m.
    Medea (1969) by Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Saturday, December 9th 8:30 p.m.
    Maria by Callas: In Her Own Words (2017) by Tom Volf
  • Sunday, December 10th 6:00 p.m.
    Callas Forever (2002) by Franco Zeffirelli
  • Monday, December 11th 8:30 p.m.
    Callas assoluta (2007) by Philippe Kohly

In collaboration with Museo Nazionale del Cinema.


To complete the 'Icona Callas' events program, in the Aula Magna of Cavallerizza Reale, a series of masterclasses and meetings will further expand the investigation into the figure of Maria Callas, touching on various aspects, from the artistic creativity she inspired to the legal issues around opera.


  • Wednesday December 6th, 11 a.m.
    I am Maria Callas. Meeting with Vanna Vinci
  • Thursday December 7th, 11 a.m.
    Law and opera. Representations of justice in opera. Meeting with Mario Riberi
  • Monday December 11th, 11 a.m.
    Callas/Medea. History of a Record. Meeting with Pierluigi Ledda
  • Tuesday December 12th, 11 a.m.
    Maria Callas and Biki. Stories of an archive. Meeting with Simona Segre-Reinach
  • Thursday December 14th, 11 a.m.
    Maria Callas and "her" directors. Meeting with Alberto Bentoglio