“In every opera a woman dies somehow,” says the artist Marina Abramović, referring to the doomed heroines Violetta, Floria Tosca, Desdemona, Cio-Cio-San, Carmen, Lucia, and Norma. In 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, she lets these roles tell and retell the story of one relationship—the love affair between Callas and Aristotle Onassis (played by the actor Willem Dafoe, on video), and the soprano’s heartbreak when he married Jackie Kennedy. “I just love Callas,” says Abramović, “I saw her in the late 50s. I see so many similarities between me and Callas,” both of them dark-haired, passionate, and Sagittarius. This “opera” is conceptual. There will only be seven singers (one for each heroine), Abramović onstage telling the story, and video projections. “So that’s actually the most radical,” she says, “the most minimal seven deaths you’ll ever have in opera.” —L.J.
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