RETURNMaria Callas-(Kalogeropoulou)

Maria Callas-(Kalogeropoulou)

Soloist, soprano
She was born in New York on 2/12/1923. Leading soprano of the 20th century. She took basic music lessons at a very young age. When her family relocated to Greece, she began studying at the National Conservatory under voice teacher Maria Trivella (1937-1939). She continued at the Athens Conservatory in the class taught by Spanish soprano Elvira de Hidalgo, who inducted Callas and trained her excellently in the art of the bel canto, while also decisively guiding her at the start of her professional career. In 1940, Callas joined the newly established Greek National Opera. Between 1940-1945 she sang roles in seven productions: Beatrice [Boccaccio], Tosca [Tosca], Smaragda [The Master Builder / O protomastoras], Santuzza [Rustic Chivalry / Cavalleria rusticana], Leonora [Fidelio], Martha [The Lowlands / Tiefland], Laura [The Beggar Student / Der Bettelstudent]. She sang in GNO first presentations of operas and operettas such as Boccaccio (1941), Tosca (1942), The Beggar Student (1945). After having sung in 56 shows and 20 recitals, she returned to the USA in search of opportunities for an international career (1945). In 1947 she triumphed as Gioconda [La Gioconda] in the Verona Arena under conductor Tullio Serafin, who subsequently became her mentor. Her international career took off immediately thereafter, as Callas began starring as top interpreter of leading roles in the greatest opera houses of the West: La Scala (1951), Royal Opera House, London (1952), Lyric Theatre of Chicago (1954), Metropolitan Opera, New York (1956), etc. She often interpreted during the same artistic season various roles that were quite diverse in music, dramatization, style and technique. Robust, penetrating, with a rich timbre, an impressive range and instantly recognizable, her voice was trained to technical perfection, offering a uniquely expressive and theatrically compelling singing, which radically changed opera stage interpretation, injecting it with new standards of quality. Callas decisively contributed to reintegrating forgotten operas to the repertory of opera houses. Her recordings, both authorized and unauthorized, remain unsurpassed. She interpreted the title role of Medea in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s namesake film (1969) and taught at the Juilliard School of Music in New York (1971-72). In 1957 she gave a recital at the Herodeion in the context of the Athens Festival. She sang with the Greek National Opera on two more occasions: the operas Norma (1960) and Medée [Medea] (1961) staged at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus. She offered the proceeds from these performances as a grant for the founding of an agency granting scholarships to young artists. Her last appearance on stage was as Norma in Paris (29/5/1965).