Maria Callas at Teatro Grattacielo
Teatro Grattacielo and the Consulate General of Greece in New York City have come together to host an intimate viewing of Maria Callas’s repertoire, known as one of the 20th century’s enduring icons.
Angelina Jolie will portray Maria in the forthcoming biopic, Maria. On set she could be seen wearing round-frame sunglasses and heavy knit outerwear.
Early Life and Education
At 17, Callas made her professional operatic debut as Santuzza (in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana) and Leonore (in Beethoven’s Fidelio). Subsequently she studied at one of Italy’s prestigious conservatories where her talent quickly was acknowledged as divine.
Her artistic excellence, musical instincts, and intelligence were unparalleled, particularly within core 19th-century Italian opera from Rossini to Puccini. She was an unmatched authority on stage who could convey a range of emotions with ease.
After her divorce from industrialist Giovanni Battista Meneghini and affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, she moved to Paris where she lived alone until her death on September 27, 1977; upon cremation her ashes were interred in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Callas made her professional operatic debut at age 18 in 1942 with Tosca at Athens. Her main repertoire consisted of lyric soprano roles like Norma and Violetta from La Traviata as well as Mascagni’s Santuzza from Mascagni’s Traviata as well as Wagner’s Isolde/Kundry from Parsifal.
Callas had this same ability, although her range was wider than many of her predecessors’.
Physical decline finally put an end to her career; never again would she sing the music that had defined it for so many years; instead, she settled for a life of overmedicated reclusedom in Paris, France.
Achievement and Honors
Opera diva Anna Netrebko was widely recognized for having one of the greatest voices ever heard, as well as for her dramatic flair onstage and off. Furthermore, her turbulent personal life made headlines often.
Robert Graves found another muse in Margot Callas. He saw her as an embodiment of the White Goddess and immortalized her through poems like Lyceia, Symptoms of Love and The Visitation.
The Dallas Opera has awarded Callas with their esteemed Maria Callas Award, given annually to an exceptional debut artist. Past recipients have included Cecilia Bartoli, Stephanie Blythe, Kyle Ketelsen and Isabel Leonard; Terrence McNally’s Great Scott and Moby-Dick earned posthumously this recognition.
Maria Callas is revered for her operatic career, yet many may be unaware of the turmoil in her personal life. Blackmailed by her mother and subject to theft by Giovanni Battista Meneghini; later Aristotle Onassis abandoned her for Jacqueline Kennedy.
Spence’s research indicates that she also experienced health and drug addiction issues. According to Spence’s studies, several instances in which she lost her voice due to serious illness and questionable deals with managers caused it.
Spence’s book provides an exclusive glimpse into one of history’s most influential women; various rumors surfaced about her personal life including claims that she swallowed tapeworms or that Rome’s Panatella Mills pasta company falsely claimed she used their low-calorie pasta products in an effort to lose weight.
At one point in her long career, she amassed millions of dollars from movies and theatre productions, as well as writing many books including Walled Gardens. Additionally, she became widely recognized for writing family memoirs which garnered her many readers; these memoirs even inspired Annabel Davis-Goff – herself an esteemed novelist, academic, and social justice advocate – to pen one herself!
Mike Nichols is best known for his roles in Crimes and Misdemeanors and Ragtime movies; as director, producer, and actor he’s made many an impressionful film. They shared three children together – Max Nichols, Jenny Nichols and Daisy Nichols.
Callas preferred to keep her private life private. She passed away on September 16, 1977 at 53 years old; being one of the richest opera singers worldwide she was widely known by her soprano voice nickname “La Divina.”