Tag Archives: Maria Callas

Maria Callas And Chris Murray

Chris Murray has done many interesting things, since graduating from Staples High School in 1969.

After majoring in theater at Rollins College — where he headed originally to be a golf pro — he moved to New York. He acted in dozens of theater, film and television productions.

A role in “Covert Action” with David Janssen moved Chris’ base
to Athens, Greece, where he directed plays and musicals, He formed his own writing, producing and directing company. He also created TV spots and documentaries for the Greek National Tourist Organization.

In the early 2000s, Chris moved back to the States. Eventually, he found his way home to Westport.

Chris Murray

Several years ago, while searching for an international story that would incorporate his musical background, along with his Greek and American experiences, he had a “eureka!” moment: Maria Callas.

He began researching and writing “Callas,” about the famous Greek-American opera singer.

Despite phenomenal talent, she began life with profound difficulties. Through relentless perseverance she overcame daunting adversities to reach the pinnacle of her profession, one of the most famous women in the world. 

It’s now a limited series, being developed for streaming services like Netflix, HBO, Amazon and Hulu.

“This is the story of a great artist,” Chris says. “This is the real woman behind ‘The Voice of the Century.’

“Women’s stories are very important right now. They have become important leaders and influencers in all aspects of today’s world,” Chris notes.

“But it hasn’t always been this way. Maria Callas’ achievements in a male- dominated world, against all odds and given the context of the time in which she lived, was nothing short of miraculous.  Her story is an inspiration to all. It needs to be told now.”

Part of Chris Murray’s pitch deck.

Chris held a “Callas” fundraiser event at the Westport Women’s Club in November. It was so well received, they invited him back. He’ll give his presentation — an “info-entertainment,” not a fundraiser — to club members on Monday (February 6).

He will describe Callas’ life, from a “poor, overweight daughter of immigrants” in Depression-era New York City, to her vocal training in Athens during World War II, her rise to international opera stardom in the 1950s and ’60s, and her abandonment of it all for “the love she yearned for” with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

Chris’ film begins in black and white in the 1930s and ’40s; it transitions to colors in the decades that follow. It will include arias from great operas, “images of triumph, roaring audiences, romance, famous people, glamour, wealth and
style, intertwined with scandals, paparazzi, and the burden and price of fame.” and portray “rage, heartache, betrayal, entrapment, pills, loneliness — and fortitude, hope, and a longing for love, family and a simply life.”

Chris notes that Callas succeeded at a time when most women could be only homemakers, nurses, secretaries or teachers.

“She struggled mightily with the timeless issues of self-esteem, her unsupportive family and forbidden love, while rising from obscurity to become the ‘Voice of the Century.'”

(For more information, contact christopher@thecallasproject.com)