Maria Callas born Maria Anna Cecilia Sofia Kalogeropoulos was an American-born Greek soprano who died on September 16, 1977.
She was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations.
Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini, and further to the works of Verdi and Puccini, and in her early career to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina (“The Divine One”).
Born in Manhattan, New York City, to Greek immigrant parents, she was raised by an overbearing mother who had wanted a son. Maria received her musical education in Greece at age 13 and later established her career in Italy.
Forced to deal with the exigencies of 1940s wartime poverty and with near-sightedness that left her nearly blind onstage, she endured struggles and scandal over the course of her career. She notably underwent a mid-career weight loss, which might have contributed to her vocal decline and the premature end of her career.
The press exulted in publicizing Callas’s temperamental behavior, the alleged Callas-Tebaldi rivalry, and her love affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
Although her dramatic life and personal tragedy have often overshadowed Callas the artist in the popular press, her artistic achievements were such that Leonard Bernstein called her “the Bible of opera”, and her influence so enduring that, in 2006, Opera News wrote of her: “Nearly thirty years after her death, she’s still the definition of the diva as artist—and still one of classical music’s best-selling vocalists.”
Maria Callas cause of death
Maria Callas was found dead in her apartment in Paris on September 16, 1977. Her official cause of death was a heart attack.
According to report, the soprano was diagnosed with dermatomyositis. It is a disease that affects the muscles and tissues in general, including the larynx.
They emphasized that this disease is treated with cortisone and immunosuppressants. This can ultimately lead to heart failure and as the official medical report states, Callas died of cardiac arrest.
Maria Callas age
Maria Callas died on September 16, 1977 in Paris, France, at the age of 53. She was born on December 2, 1923 in New York City, U.S.
Callas was the daughter of Greek immigrants and early developed an interest in singing. Accompanied by her mother, she left the United States in 1937 to study at the Athens Conservatory with soprano Elvira de Hidalgo.
She sang locally in Cavalleria rusticana and Boccaccio and returned to the United States in 1945. Her career began in earnest in August 1947, when she appeared in Verona in La gioconda.
Soon, under the tutoring of conductor Tullio Serafin, she made debuts in Venice, Turin, and Florence. In 1949 she first appeared in Rome, Buenos Aires, and Naples and in 1950 in Mexico City.
Her powerful soprano voice, capable of sustaining both lyric and coloratura roles, was intensely dramatic; combined with her strong sense of theatre and her scrupulously high artistic standards, it took her quickly to the forefront of contemporary opera talent.
Her abilities made possible the revival of 19th-century bel canto works, notably those of Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti, that had long been dropped from standard repertoires.
Maria Callas made her debut at the prestigious La Scala in Milan in 1950, singing in I Vespri siciliani. In 1952 she appeared at Covent Garden, London. Her American debut took place in November 1954 at Chicago’s Lyric Opera in the title role of Norma, a performance she repeated before a record audience at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Callas’s recordings were enthusiastically received, and she was one of the most popular singers of the period. Her much-publicized volatile temperament resulted in several protracted feuds with rivals and managers.
After a final operatic performance as Tosca at Covent Garden (July 1965), Callas made the film Medea (1969). In 1966 she became a Greek citizen and relinquished her U.S. citizenship.
She taught master classes in opera at Juilliard (1972) before a last U.S. and European concert tour (1973–74). By the time of her retirement, she had performed more than 40 different roles and had recorded more than 20 complete operas.
Callas’s personality and philosophy of performance are powerfully depicted in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class (first performed and published 1995), based on her classes at Juilliard.
Maria Callas net worth
Maria Callas was an American-born Greek singer who had a net worth of $1 million.
Maria Callas husband
Maria Callas had one spouse, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, whom she married in 1949 and divorced in 1959.
He was a wealthy industrialist from Verona, Italy, who supported her career and managed her affairs.
However, their marriage was unhappy and he allegedly stole from her and cheated on her. Callas never remarried and died in 1977 in Paris, France.
Maria Callas children
Maria Callas did not have any children of her own. She was unable to bear children, according to her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini .
However, there is a controversial claim that she bore a love child by Aristotle Onassis in 1960, but the baby boy died of natural causes within hours .
This claim is based on some birth certificates that were issued in 1998, twenty-one years after Callas’s death, and has been dismissed by various sources .
Therefore, it is most likely that Callas never had any children, and that her life was devoted to her art and her lovers.
Maria Callas family members
Father: George Kalogeropoulos. He was a Greek immigrant to New York who worked as a pharmacist. He later changed the family name to Callas.
Mother: Elmina Evangelia “Litsa” Kalogeropoulos. She was also a Greek immigrant who had ambitions of becoming a socialite and an artist. She was unhappy in her marriage and had a strained relationship with Maria.
Sister: Jackie Callas. She was Maria’s elder sister who was born in 1920. She was more beautiful and favored by their mother than Maria. She later married and had children.
Husband: Giovanni Battista Meneghini. He was an Italian industrialist who was 26 years older than Maria. He married her in 1949 and became her manager. They divorced in 1959.
Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!