This year the world celebrates 100th anniversary of Maria Callas @mariacallasofficial, the greatest soprano of the 20th century.
Maria Callas, born Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria Kalogeropoulos on December 2, 1923, was quite possibly the most famous and most notorious female opera singer in the 20th century. Callas rose to fame in Italy after the end of World War II, when she performed operas such as “Medea,” “Tosca,” “Parsifal” and “La Traviata”.
Publicly known as a tempestuous and bejeweled opera star who soared to the heights of high society and international stardom, her personal life was dramatic enough to inspire an opera: pimped to the Nazis by her mother as a child, blackmailed by both parents in the best days of her career, robbed by her husband, she dated and was abused by the wealthiest man on the Planet, rivaled another most celebrated operatic artist of the time Renata Tebaldi and lost the love battle to the most beautiful and famous female of the US Jacqueline Kennedy. Maria Callas died “suddenly and mysteriously” at the age of 53 alone, in her Paris apartment. Some of her friends think it was possible that she had been poisoned and her original will has been burnt.
This summer gives a boost to the centenary celebrations honoring Maria Callas, the greatest soprano of the 20th century, that took off in April and will last till December.
In June we visited Greek National Opera to see “The UNBOXING CALLAS” exhibition – an Archival Exploration of the Dimitris Pyromallis Collection and the GNO Archive inspired by the private stories, memories, and archival effects of Maria Callas, that seeks to connect younger generations with the legendary Callas as a shining example of talent and hard work.
In July the tribute will be shaping up beyond theaters, libraries, and concert halls.
Greece’s main summer Athens-Epidaurus Festival @athensepidaurusfestival
hosted at the ancient theater of Epidaurus, the UNESCO world heritage site, will offer concerts and plays to complement the celebrations.
On July 23, 2023, Musart Festival @bitconcerti in Piazza SS. Annunziata in Florence, Italy will treat the opera lovers with the world premiere of the “Callas 100” show; a lyrical gala with the extraordinary participation of Laura Morante as narrator and some great names of international music including Olga Peretat, Maria Siri Siri, Ekaterina Bakanova, Andrea Edina Ulbrich, Valerio Borgioni and M Piero Piero Romano.
The Callas 100 project will be also performed at:
06 September 2023-TARANTO-Rotonda Lungomare Vittorio Emanule III
09 september 2023-VICENZA-VIOFF – Piazza dei Signori
28 September 2023 – MILAN-Teatro Arcimboldi
01 November 2023 – PRAGUE – Smetana Hall
03 December 2023 – New York – Carnegie Hall
20 December 2023 – Vienna – Musikverein
The Greek National Opera (GNO) is programming a forthcoming series of festive events dedicated to Maria Callas’ 100th birthday including: a new opera production, an exhibition at the National Library, a new documentary about Maria Callas’ Greek early years, an art installation, an Opera Gala, and an educational workshop.
In September The Greek National Opera (GNO) will reconstruct the famous historic recital given by Maria Callas at The Odeon of Herodes Atticus – a stone Roman theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens – in 1957. Four internationally-renowned leading lights of the opera world will pay tribute to Maria Callas, performing arias from operas by Kalomiris, Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi, Donizetti, and Thomas that she herself performed at that very Roman venue back in time, making full use of her remarkable vocal range and singular virtuoso abilities to leave a mark that has never been surpassed.
For more information: https://www.nationalopera.gr/en/news-features/item/5285-tribute-to-maria-callas
Other high-profile cultural celebrations planned leading up to her birthday on Dec. 2 include: “Diva,” an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London available till Sunday, April 7, 2024; “Maria,” a new movie starring Angelina Jolie, directed by Pablo Larraín and expected to be premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September.