Introduction: Maria Callas (02:20)
Maria Callas is known for her large vocal range and bel canto skills. Directors who worked with the soprano include Tullio Serafin, Luchino Visconti, and Franco Zeffirelli. She is also known by her nickname at La Scala, "La Divina." (Credits)
Callas: Career Beginnings (03:50)
Experts discuss her childhood in New York, relocation to Athens, education, and pursuing a stage career. Callas aced her audition for the Greek National Conservatoire. Maria Trivella arranged for the soprano to appear in Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana."
Callas: Professional Début (02:34)
Elvira De Hidalgo secured Callas a role in the Athens Lyric Opera's production of "Boccaccio." Callas' mother pressured her to date Italian and German soldiers in order to bring home money and food. She returned to America and auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera.
Callas: Moving to Italy (03:55)
Tullio Serafin cast Callas to sing at the Arena di Verona and asked Franco Zeffirelli to meet her. Callas suffered from stage fright before performances.
Callas: Career Turning Point (03:42)
Callas sung Elvira from "I Puritani," because Margherita Carosia had fallen ill. The soprano reignited interest in old Italian Operas.
Callas: Career Rising (05:35)
Callas married Giovanni Battista Meneghini, who pushed her to sing too frequently. Luciano Alberti recalls watching her perform "La Traviata" in Florence. Callas spent two or three hours on her own after rehearsals practicing blocking because she did not see well.
La Scala (04:32)
La Scala is the most famous opera house in Italy. Antonio Ghiringhelli relented and asked Callas to debut in "I Vespri Sicliani." Luchino Visconti, Herbert von Karajan, and Franco Zeffirelli came to Milan to collaborate with the soprano.
Press and Tabloids (06:03)
Callas performed in "Norma" at the Royal Opera House. After becoming popular for performances in Chicago and New York, "Time" magazine wrote an article about her difficult behavior, relationship with her mother, rivalry with Renata Tebaldi, and her temper. Eddy Bagarozy demanded 20% of her earnings as her agent. Rugolf Bing canceled her Metropolitan Opera contract; Callas gave a press conference.
Callas: Cancelling Performances (04:43)
Callas decided to live in Paris after performing at the Palais Garnier; in Rome, she canceled a performance after the first act. Elmina Evangelia published a book about her relationship with her daughter. Her relationship with Aristotle Onassis contributed to the end of her singing career.
Callas: End of Career (07:07)
Callas sung "Norma" and "Tosca"; Zeffirelli publicly defended Callas. Onassis left the soprano for the former first lady. Giuseppe Di Stefano and Callas embarked on a world tour.
Credits: Maria Callas (00:48)
Credits: Maria Callas
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