Jewels on Stage
The Metropolitan Opera, New York City, 2007

‘Maria Callas and Swarovski – Jewels on Stage’ is the title of an exhibition created in 2003 by Dottore Rinaldo Albanesi, Vice-President of Swarovski International at the time. In 2006 the stage jewellery displayed had already been seen by more than two and a half million visitors.
Michael Hammers was asked to think about a conceptual expansion and special development of its content related to the 30th anniversary of Maria Callas’ death in 2007. “I got a call” is how Michael starts every time you ask him to tell you about a project. All right, Michael got a call! “...Let me tell you, getting the possibility to work on this was my godsend. I love music, the opera, song. I know the smell of a stage, everything that makes it its own world…and I already adored Maria Callas for her artistic life, a life without compromise.”

Michaels’s team created “magic vitrines”, displaying some of the most delicate jewellery in a manner never before seen. His Studios sculptured individual, three-dimensional busts just out of the thinnest stainless wires and set the jewels as if they were hovering. The fronts of the vitrines were made of special art-glass panes, showing Maria Callas wearing this jewellery while acting. “The vitrines have an inside lighting, when the light is off, you only see the picture, when the music starts, the lighting control reacts with the music staging the jewellery and that is when you can see through the image into the infinity of Maria Callas’ stage reality…” says Michael.

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