Exploring La Divina
Welcome to our ultimate Maria Callas guide. Explore a handpicked selection of resources, spanning books, films, thought-provoking documentaries, engaging podcasts, and irresistible playlists. Whether you're a lifelong fan or a newcomer to the Callas's world, our selection offers a deep dive into the life and art of this iconic soprano. Discover her enduring impact on the classical music landscape.
Five books to re-discover Maria Callas's hidden legacy, delve into her artistry, explore the woman beyond the legend, and uncover her lesser-known Greek years through a modern lens.
Maria by Callas 100th Anniversary Edition by Assouline
Discover the untold legacy of Maria Callas, through Tom Volf's updated edition of "Maria by Callas," a mesmerizing journey into her life enriched with lost archives and never-before-seen photographs from her inner circle, redefining the essence of the legendary soprano beyond traditional biographies.
Callas: The Art and the Life by ARDOIN, John and Gerald Fitzgerald
An in-depth biography that offers a contemporary understanding of the iconic soprano Maria Callas, providing insights into her career, personal journey, and profound influence on the opera world, making it a must-read for those intrigued by her lasting impact in the modern age.
Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington
Arianna Huffington's contemporary biography offers an intimate, modern perspective on the iconic soprano Maria Callas, tracing her journey from self-conscious beginnings to celebrated success, with insights into her personal battles, profound connection with her voice, and tumultuous relationships, including her passionate romance with Aristotle Onassis.
The unknown Callas: The Greek years by Petsalis-Diomidis
Petsalis-Diomidis' acclaimed biography unearths a little-explored period in Maria Callas's life, covering her Athens years from 1937 to 1945, revealing the critical role they played in her personal and professional development while providing a modern, engaging narrative style.
MARIA CALLAS: Sacred Monster by Stelios Galatopoulos
An inquiry into the life and career of one of this century's most celebrated opera singers reveals her personal thoughts and provides a unique perspective on the roles she portrayed.
From Callas’ iconic arias and enthralling duets to the live shows, this compilation offers a glimpse of her enduring vocal brilliance. Discover her legendary recordings and fresh takes on classic hits, all in a single destination.
Callas, Maria: Best of
The greatest recordings by legendary classical soprano Maria Callas, including arias from operas by Rossini, Verdi, Puccini and Catalani. (open in Spotify)
Puccini: Madama Butterfly (1955 - Karajan) - Callas Remastered
A legendary backstage moment captured in Chicago after one of Maria Callas's three performances of Madama Butterfly stands as an iconic image of her tempestuous diva persona, snarling at a bailiff who had served a writ on her. However, in her recording of the role, Maria Callas miraculously transforms into the 15-year-old girl of the opera, a testament to her genius for vocal characterization. Herbert von Karajan's conducting, often described as wholly sympathetic, adds a new layer of detail to the score, as noted by the critic John Osborne and Gramophone. (open in Spotify)
Lucia di Lammermoor
Maria Callas's first recording of "Lucia" is iconic, marking the start of her collaboration with EMI, featuring her remarkable chemistry with Tito Gobbi and Giuseppe Di Stefano, and still standing as the definitive vocal rendition of Donizetti's masterpiece, notably in the spine-tingling mad scene. (open in Spotify)
For those interested in Callas's captivating duets with the elite of male Italian singing, this playlist is a must. It showcases the magic of her collaborations with Giuseppe Di Stefano, Franco Corelli, Richard Tucker, and Tito Gobbi, adding to the legendary status of her Scala performances. (open in Spotify)
Best Live Performances 1952-1959 Volume 1 - Compilation by Maria Callas
For those who are into the thrill of live performances, this playlist is their go-to. It's packed with Maria Callas's electrifying live concert recordings. (open in Spotify)
Popular Music from TV, Film and Opera - Album by Maria Callas
Many films use popular well-known, well-loved operatic arias as source music. This album has seventeen of these sung by Maria Callas. The album comprises arias from the following films: Philadelphia; Diva; The Bridges of Madison County; A Room with a View; Fatal Attraction; Trainspotting; The Fifth Element; Entrapment; Street Fighter; My Geisha; Basquiat; Copycat - and from the UK TV advertisement for Ford Modeo. (open in Spotify)
Delve deeper into holographic opera, dissect Callas’ life and artistry, and immerse in the sonic impact of her voice through these podcasts.
Opera After Dark| Maria Callas... and Holograms
In this “Opera After Dark” episode, they talk about one of opera's greatest legends, the diva of all divas, and the experience of getting to see her holographic reincarnation perform with a live orchestra. The one and only Maria Anna Cecilia Sofia Kalogeropoulos... a.k.a. Maria Callas! (listen here)
The Art and Myth of Maria Callas
Voice of Greece radio pays tribute to Maria Callas for her centennial anniversary, featuring 28 episodes titled "The Art and Myth of Maria Callas." This collaboration between ERT, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Maria Callas Greek Society includes interviews, rare documents, and recordings, shedding light on the life and art of the iconic soprano. (listen here)
The Slowdown | In the House of the Voice of Maria Callas by Steven Orlen
In the house of the voice of Maria Callas, we hear the baby’s cries, and the after-supper, rattle of silverware, and three clocks ticking to different tunes, and ripe plums. Sleeping in their chipped bowl, and traffic sounds, dissecting the avenues outside. We hear, like water, Pouring over time itself, the pure distillate arias of the numerous pampered queens who have reigned, and the working girls who have suffered the envious knives, and the breathless brides with their horned helmets who have fallen in love
and gone crazy or fallen in love and died on the grand stage at their appointed moments— Who will sing of them now? Maria Callas is dead, although the full lips and the slanting eyes and flared nostrils of her voice resurrect dramas we are able to imagine in this parlor on evenings like this one, adding some color, adding some order. Of whom it was said: She could imagine almost anything and give voice to it. (listen here)
"In the House of the Voice of Maria Callas," by Steven Orlen, from THE ELEPHANT’S CHILD: NEW & SELECTED POEMS: 1978-2005 by Steven Orlen, copyright © 2006 Copper Canyon Press. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Experience Maria Callas like never before, in five films. Witness rare live performances and her riveting portrayal of Medea, explore her career in-depth, unseen moments from her rise to stardom, and an intriguing connection with another iconic figure.
MARIA CALLAS AT COVENT GARDEN (1964)
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, United Kingdom, Documentary, Music, TV Movie
Maria Callas's rare filmed performances are a treasure, and these two gala concerts, recorded at the Royal Opera House in 1962 and 1964, stand out. In 1962, she surprised an enthusiastic audience with a live television concert, showcasing her excellent vocal condition and dispelling rumors about her career. Callas performed pieces from Verdi's "Don Carlo" and Bizet's "Carmen." Her last major success was her 1964 appearance in Puccini's "Tosca" at Covent Garden, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, alongside baritone Tito Gobbi as Scarpia.
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy – France, Drama
In this hypnotic adaptation of Euripides’s immortal tragedy, Pier Paolo Pasolini casts opera diva Maria Callas (utterly arresting in her only film role) as the sorceress of Greek legend, whose separation from her homeland of Colchis and betrayal by her lover, Jason, lead her down a path of shocking vengeance. Melding Western myth with aesthetic and musical influences from numerous world cultures, Pasolini fashions a mesmerizing cinematic pageant that gathers in force until it explodes in rage and a stunningly nihilistic condemnation of injustice.
MARIA CALLAS: LIFE & ART (1987)
Directed by Alan Lewens, Alastair Mitchell, United Kingdom, Documentary
Legendary opera singer Maria Callas had an extraordinary career, colored as much by supreme success as it was by terrible heartache. Yet despite her tumultuous private life, Callas’s powerful soprano voice rarely faltered. Narrated by Rosalie Crutchley, this well-rounded documentary features extensive interviews and numerous performances, including the diva’s final concert in Tokyo and a rare recording taken a class at the Julliard School.
MARIA BY CALLAS (2017)
Directed by Tom Volf, France, Documentary
Rising from humble beginnings in New York City, Greek-American opera singer Maria Callas became a glamorous international superstar. Performances, interviews, home movies, and unpublished memoirs—nearly all of which have never been seen by the public—reveal the essence of an extraordinary woman.
THE ISLE OF MEDEA / L'ISOLA DI MEDEA (2017)
Directed by Sergio Naitza, Italy, Documentary
Two of the greatest artistic personalities of the 20th century came together on a tiny island in Italy: Maria Callas and Pier Paolo Pasolini. The testimonials help chronicle the events which became tainted by unrequited love, a subject which dominated the interest of the tabloids of the time.