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The Art of Maria Callas
To speak of Maria Callas is to recall one of the most important periods in the history of Italian Opera, from the end of World War II to the early 1960s, when generations of performers such as Tebaldi, Simionato, Barbieri, Del Monaco, Di Stefano, Bastianini, Gobbi, and Rossi-Lemeni handed over the baton to Freni, Caballé, Valentini Terrani, Pavarotti, Domingo, Nucci, Bruson and Raimondi, to name but a few.

Maria Callas (b. New York, 1923 – d. Paris, 1977) was born Kalogeropoulos, which reveals her Greek origin. When she was born in New York, her parents had recently moved from Greece, and in the U.S. Maria stayed with her mother and older sister until 1937, when she returned to Greece. In Athens she attended the Conservatory and graduated in singing, piano and languages. Even from the beginning, her repertoire was broad in scope. In fact, her debut came with a full performance of Cavalleria Rusticana, on April 2, 1939, when she was only 15 years old. By 1945 Maria had performed seven principal roles and in no less than 57 live concerts.

From 1945 to 1947 she returned to the United States, although she had been advised to go straight to Italy. The early period of the artist’s training is not much studied, despite her making very considerable progress. Callas subsequently became the famous artist judged by many to be of unsurpassable ability after coming to Italy in 1947, where she strung together a series of exceptional interpretations in operas that cannot usually be approached by a single voice type. These included Cherubini’s Medea, Verdi’s Macbeth and La Traviata, Bellini’s Norma and La Sonnambula, and Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and Lucia di Lammermoor.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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