Five Things to Know: Callas in Concert
“La Divina” herself returns to the stage by the magic of modern technology on Wednesday, November 7 the Music Worcester presents Callas in Concert: The Hologram Tour. Read on for a brief overview of Callas’ spectacular career, then visit our website to reserve your seats for the concert.
1. Early life
American opera singer Maria Callas was born Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria Kalogeropoulos in New York City on December 2, 1923. Her father later shortened their last name to “Callas.” Callas’ mother brought her daughters to Greece in 1937, shortly after separating from her husband. This is where Callas began to discover her talent and began taking piano lessons at age seven.
Callas’ mother brought her daughters to Greece in 1937, shortly after separating from her husband. This is where Callas began to discover her talent and began taking piano lessons at age seven.
2. Global success
In 1939, Callas started studying with the famous soprano Elvira de Hidalgo, and in 1940, she began singing professionally in Athens. On August 3, 1947 Callas made her Italian debut, performing “La Gioconda” at the Verona Arena. In 1949, she made some of her most important appearances, singing “Turandot,” “Norma” and “Aida” at the Colón opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, known as one of the world’s greatest stages.
3. Fit for a queen
Callas’ final operatic performance, “London Farewell Concert,” was at Royal Festival Hall in London on July 5, 1965. She performed with Italian tenor Guiseppe di Stefano and English pianist Ivor Newton. Queen Elizabeth was also in attendance.
4. Not just a singer
Callas tried her hand at acting after retiring from opera. She starred in an adaptation of “Medea,” although it was not successful. Callas also taught at Julliard in New York City during the 1971-1972 school year.
5. One of the best
Callas won numerous awards and accolades, both in her lifetime and after her death. She was voted the greatest soprano by BBC Music Magazine in 2007. Also in 2007, she was honored with the Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012, she was voted into the Gramophone Magazine’s Hall of Fame.