Profile

Maria Callas

Born + Greek Soprano
Female

Maria Callas, Commendatore OMRI was an American-born Greek soprano and arguably the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century. She combined an impressive bel canto technique, a wide-ranging voice and great dramatic gifts. An extremely versatile singer, her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini; further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner.… Read More

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Timeline

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CHILDHOOD

1923 Birth According to her birth certificate Maria Callas was born Sophia Cecelia Kalos at Flower Hospital (now the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center), at 1249 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on December 2, 1923 to Greek parents George Kalogeropoulos (c. 1881-1972) and Evangelia "Litsa" (sometimes "Litza") Dimitriadou (c. 1894-1982), though she was christened Anna Maria Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou —the genitive of the patronymic Kalogeropoulos. … Read More

TEENAGE

1937 14 Years Old 1 More Event
…  The marriage continued to deteriorate and in 1937 Evangelia decided to return to Athens with her two daughters.
1938 - 1939 2 More Events
1941 18 Years Old Callas made her professional debut in February 1941, in the small role of Beatrice in Franz von Suppé's Boccaccio. … Read More
1942 19 Years Old Despite these hostilities, Callas managed to continue and made her debut in a leading role in August 1942 as Tosca, going on to sing the role of Marta in Eugen d'Albert's Tiefland at the Olympia Theatre. … Read More

TWENTIES

1944 - 1946 5 More Events
Upon her arrival in Verona, Callas met Giovanni Battista Meneghini, an older, wealthy industrialist, who began courting her. They married in 1949, and he assumed control of her career until 1959, when the marriage dissolved. … Read More
1950 27 Years Old According to composer Gian-Carlo Menotti, Callas had substituted for Renata Tebaldi in the role of Aida in 1950, and La Scala's general manager, Antonio Ghiringhelli, had taken an immediate dislike to Callas. … Read More
…  Sir Rudolf Bing, who remembered Callas as being "monstrously fat" in 1951, stated that after the weight loss, Callas was an "astonishing, svelte, striking woman" who "showed none of the signs one usually finds in a fat woman who has lost weight: she looked as though she had been born to that slender and graceful figure, and had always moved with that elegance." … Read More
In 1952, she made her London debut at the Royal Opera House in Norma with veteran mezzo-soprano Ebe Stignani as Adalgisa, a performance which survives on record and also features the young Joan Sutherland in the small role of Clotilde.

THIRTIES

1953 30 Years Old Callas and the London public had what she herself called "a love affair", and she returned to the Royal Opera House in 1953, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1964 to 1965. … Read More
Callas was notably instrumental in arranging Franco Corelli's debut at La Scala in 1954, where he sang Licinio in Spontini's La vestale opposite Callas's Julia. … Read More
Callas's relationship with Evangelia continued to erode during the years in Greece, and in the prime of her career, it became a matter of great public interest, especially after a 1956 cover story in Time magazine which focused on this relationship and later, by Evangelia's book My Daughter – Maria Callas. … Read More
1957 34 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1957, Callas was starring as Amina in La sonnambula at the Edinburgh International Festival with the forces of La Scala. … Read More
She further consolidated this company's standing when, in 1958, she gave "a towering performance as Violetta in La traviata, and that same year, in her only American performances of Medea, gave an interpretation of the title role worthy of Euripides." … Read More
1959 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Despite this, Bing's admiration for Callas never wavered, and in September 1959, he sneaked into La Scala in order to listen to Callas record La Gioconda for EMI. … Read More
1960 37 Years Old According to one of her biographers, Nicholas Gage, Callas and Onassis had a child, a boy, who died hours after he was born on March 30, 1960. … Read More

FORTIES

1964 41 Years Old 1 More Event
In her final years as a singer, she sang in Medea, Norma, and Tosca, most notably her Paris, New York, and London Toscas of January–February 1964, and her last performance on stage, on July 5, 1965, at Covent Garden.
1966 - 1968 2 More Events
1969 46 Years Old In 1969, the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini cast Callas in her only non-operatic acting role, as the Greek mythological character of Medea, in his film by that name. … Read More
1971 48 Years Old From October 1971 to March 1972, Callas gave a series of master classes at the Juilliard School in New York. … Read More

FIFTIES

1973 50 Years Old Callas staged a series of joint recitals in Europe in 1973 and in the U.S., South Korea, and Japan in 1974 with the tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano. … Read More
1974 51 Years Old Her final public performance was on November 11, 1974, in Sapporo, Japan.
1977 54 Years Old 1 More Event
Callas herself attributed her problems to a loss of confidence brought about by a loss of breath support, even though she does not make the connection between her weight and her breath support. In an April 1977 interview with journalist Philippe Caloni, she stated, My best recordings were made when I was skinny, and I say skinny, not slim, because I worked a lot and couldn't gain weight back; I became even too skinny... … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Callas.
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