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MARIA CALLAS 1923 - 1977

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One thing I miss up here, is being able to fill
 an auditorium with a depth of vibration so intense that 
 the very introduction of a human form into that massive
 array of vibration absorbs and intensifies
 the emotional feelings of those present.
All souls are divine

American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned opera singers of the twentieth century.  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, the music dramas of Wagner.

Maria Callas, Carmen Maria Callas Figaro

She combined an impressive bel canto technique with great dramatic gifts.  Her remarkable musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.

PETER as a teenager your older sister, Jackie, was your mother's favourite.  Did you put on weight because of your mother's hostility?
CALLAS I was the "ugly duckling".  Food was one of my defence mechanisms.  It was one thing I could not be talked out of.
PETER Did your short-sightenedness help your singing career?
CALLAS (LAUGHS) It allowed me to focus on the pure quality of tone, rather than eyeing a handsome young gentleman in the front row.
PETER At the Athens Conservatoire, the soprano Elvira de Hidalgo became your teacher.
CALLAS She taught me to be "fantastico" - to be magnicent - you had to take what was in your heart and mold the songs, the music, to your own energy.
PETER During World War II your family was very poor.  Your husband later said that your mother sent you out to earn money by prostitution with German soldiers.  Is that true?
CALLAS Yes.  I disassociated myself from what was going on and saw it as a means of survival.
PETER Looking back on your career, which was your favourite opera house?
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
CALLAS The outdoor amphitheatre in Greece.  There I felt I could rise right out of my body into a realm, where many before me had gone, and it was there where one time I felt myself present in a time many, many centuries before the chronological time.

Peter comments: An engaging story from a consummate artist.  Maria used her youthful difficulties - poor eyesight, obesity, a controlling mother, lustful soldiers - all to good effect. She created a depth to her artistry, which together with her fabulous voice, was developped by sheer hard work under fine tutors and made her into a true prima donna.

Talking with Twentieth Century Women
The foregoing are excerpts from Talking with Twentieth Century Women.
If you wish to purchase this book please go to the Celestial Voices website.
If you wish to learn more please go to these websites Messages from the Masters, The Cosmic Lighthouse, Life Awareness and The Masters' Blog.

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For Maria Callas' complete studio recordings and for books and DVDs about her, please click below - as well as on Celestial Voices above.

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