Entertainment & Arts

Noomi Rapace to star in Callas biopic

Noomi Rapace and Maria Callas Image copyright AP
Image caption Rapace (left) will play the famous opera singer in the film, which is due to start shooting this year

Influential opera singer Maria Callas will be the subject of a new feature biopic starring Noomi Rapace.

The film Callas will focus on the American-born Greek singer's almost two-decade long relationship with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

"This movie is about an extraordinary woman whose deepest desire is to lead an ordinary life with the man of her choice," said the film's producer.

Rapace previously starred in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Prometheus.

Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country) will write and direct Callas, which is based on Alfonso Signorini's biography Too Proud, Too Fragile.

Callas was known for her wide vocal range and intensely dramatic portrayals in operas including Tosca, Die Walkure and Turandot. Her admirers called her "La Divina" (the divine one).

The late opera diva was also known for her temperamental behaviour and her private life received a lot of press attention. She died in Paris in 1977 at the age of 53.

The film's makers will be looking for distributors at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which opens on Wednesday.

Their film faces competition from an HBO biopic, announced last year, in which Meryl Streep will play the singer.

Based on the Tony-winning 1995 play by Terrence McNally, Master Class will show Callas in later life, teaching students at New York's Juilliard school.

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