Maria Anna Sophie Cecilia Callas
December 2, 1923
September 16, 1977
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Maria Callas can be considered as an important opera legend.
The Callas name originally was Kalogeropoulos.
At age 13, Maria Callas moved with her mother and sister to Greece because her parents separated.
Part of the marital problems was said that her father did not agree with the mother's wish for Maria be a singer.
In 1937, Callas began voice training with Maria Trivella at the National Conservatoire.
Trivella was so impressed by Maria Callas that she waived her fee for singing lessons.
Under Trivella's tutorship, Callas made a public appearance within a year.
At her mother's insistence, in 1939 Callas left Trivella and enrolled in Athens Conservatory, studying with soprano Elvira de Hidalgo.
In 1942, Callas gave her first professional opera performance at the Athens Opera House.
After gaining further experience, she returned to New York in 1945.
Callas actually turned down an early opportunity to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House because she considered herself overweight.
Through a friend, Maria Callas auditioned for and very much impressed the famous tenor Giovanni Zenatello.
Zenatello recommended she return to Italy to sing in a number of operas.
Over the next several years, Callas became noted for putting dramatic power into her singing roles.
She also became noted for sometimes having temper outbursts and erratic voice control.
Nevertheless, Callas performed many roles exceptionally well and helped set standards in the interpretation of such parts.
Maria Callas was once described by the famous conductor Leonard Bernstein as "the greatest artist of the world."
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
Encyclopedia of World Biography
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Last Updated: January 20, 2017
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