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BURBERRY DESIGNS FOR MARINA ABRAMOVIC

It’s a collaboration dreamed up in the scribbled sketchbook of a fashion student.

We think Marina Abramovic is wicked, and, like the age-old adage goes, they never rest. The legendary performance artist is always up to something incredible – whether that’s sitting opposite punters for 736 hours (and 30 minutes), or scrubbing human skeletons.

Now, she’s directed a new opera project titled ‘7 Deaths of Maria Callas’, working alongside composer Marko Nikodijevic. Centred around opera singer Maria Callas, it follows a splicing of the soprano’s most iconic performances. The set has been designed by Marina, and she directs (and appears throughout), so you know it’ll be a showstopper.

For the costumes, she’s enlisted the help of friend and Burberry Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci (a dreamy mate to have).’I am a romantic dreamer at my core,’ Riccardo said in a statement. ‘The subject is one of love in all its forms, from the light to the dark.’

Seven pieces have been masterfully spun for the show. Standouts include the dress for ‘Carmen’, a crimson Toledo jacket matched with a fresh-blood tainted floor-length gown and black-and-white brogues, and the ‘Otello’ costume, featuring a sheer net gown.

‘I have wanted to make ‘7 Deaths’ for 30 years,’ Marina said. ‘To die from a broken heart is the thread which draws together each opera in a project which is centred around love and its forms.’

Threads of raw feeling, then, are interlaced with literal threads from one of the world’s most consistently exquisite fashion houses. It’s a collaboration dreamed up in the sketchbooks of doodling fashion students, or the searing-hot minds of pioneering curators. It’s, as we said before, wicked.

The opera is premiering tonight at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, before moving to opera houses across Europe. Marina’s commentary appears throughout, with the performance artist enacting the death of the opera heroine in an accompanying film (with another bloody great, William Dafoe).

Chic opera glasses and ultra-hip Munic redcurrant juice at the ready – it’s going to be absolute DRAMA.

You can live stream the performance on 5 September 2020 via Staatsoper.tv (6:30pm CEST sharp). It’ll then be available to watch on demand for 30 days from 7 September.

Words by Kyle MacNeill

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