Maria Callas

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by Kevinnoravit
Last updated 6 years ago

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Arts & Music
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Artist Biographies

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Maria Callas

Maria Callas

According to her birth certificate, Maria Callas was born Sophia Cecelia Kalos at Flower Hospital (now the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center), at 1249 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on December 2, 1923 to Greek parents George Kalogeropoulos and Evangelia "Litsa . Callas's father had shortened the surname Kalogeropoulos first to "Kalos" and subsequently to "Callas" in order to make it more manageable.

Born in New York City and raised by an overbearing mother, she received her musical education in Greece and established her career in Italy. Forced to deal with the exigencies of wartime poverty and with myopia that left her nearly blind onstage, she endured struggles and scandal over the course of her career.

Maria Callas, Commendatore OMR (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977), was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic gifts. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini; 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 apartment house in Athens where Callas lived from 1937 to 1945

Maria Callas

Maria Callas as Violetta in La traviata, 1958


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