Throughout the 1950s, Maria Callas was the leading star of the international opera circuit and arguably the most flamboyant, most sought-after performer in the world. With the unrivaled quality of her opulent voice and her much-publicized personal ex Throughout the 1950s, Maria Callas was the leading star of the international opera circuit and arguably the most flamboyant, most sought-after performer in the world. With the unrivaled quality of her opulent voice and her much-publicized personal exploits, she became an international sensation. Ultimately, she was the most transformative force in twentieth-century opera: largely due to "La Callas," opera evolved from a fashionable pastime into a popular obsession. Born in America in 1923 to recent Greek immigrants (without a drop of Italian blood), she was an unlikely future diva. As a child she was myopic, chubby, and spoke in the unrefined accent of her native New York. In 1937 her mother returned with her to Greece, where she began her studies at the Athens Conservatory and made her debut at the Athens Opera. Driven and passionate, by 1949 she was already recognized internationally as an original interpreter of the Italian bel-canto repertory. Maria Callas's rise was meteoric, and her demise seemed just as abrupt. Through the triumphs, and often self-imposed miseries of her life, she burned with the passions of a true prima donna.
Maria Callas revolutionized the art of opera, influencing repertoire and singing style more than any artist this century. This book pays homage to this extraordinary diva through an enlightening text and a series of stunning photographs which capture "La Callas" in her most famous roles, at rehearsals, at recordings, and with adoring fans. We follow her first performance of Bellini's Norma at the tender age of nineteen, through the highlights of her career in the late 1950s, and her triumphant performances of opera's greatest heroines. Yet behind the success lies a more haunting story. The great star's destiny echoed that of the tragic heroines she so often portrayed: she lived her roles, both on and off the stage, so intensely that she was devoured by them, both physically and emotionally. She spent her final years in silence and solitude, unaware of the great legacy she would leave, or of the dazzling legend that she had become. ...Continua Nascondi