Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

A New Opera Company with a True Story of Forbidden Love

Victory Hall Opera is a new company making its debut in Charlottesville Virginia on August 14, 2016. Its first presentation will be Richard Strauss’s and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Der Rosenkavalier.

Interview with Star of Florencia en el Amazonas, Elizabeth Caballero

Lyric soprano Elizabeth Caballero’s signature role is Violetta in La traviata, which she portrays with a compelling interpretation, focused sound, and elegant coloratura that floats through the opera house as naturally as waves on the ocean.

A Chat With Baritone Brian Mulligan

Maria Nockin interviews baritone Brian Mulligan.

An interview with Tobias Ringborg

I arrive at the Jerwood Space, where rehearsals are underway for Garsington Opera’s forthcoming production of Idomeneo, to find that the afternoon rehearsal has finished a little early.

Opera Las Vegas Announces Full Production of Carmen

Tickets on Sale NOW for June 10 & 12 Performances at UNLV’s Performing Arts Center Box Office

Bampton Classical Opera 2016

A Double-Bill of Divine Comedies

A Conversation with Sir Nicholas Jackson

With its merry-go-round exchange of deluded and bewitched lovers, an orphan-turned-princess, a usurped prince, a jewel and a flower with magical properties, a march to the scaffold and a meddling ‘mistress-of-ceremonies’ who encourages the young lovers to disguise and deceive, William Makepeace Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring has all the ingredients of an opera buffa.

A Chat With Up-and-Coming Conductor Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen Kelly is an internationally renowned pianist, coach, conductor, and master teacher. She was the first woman and first American named Director of Musical Studies at the Vienna State Opera.

Atsuto Sawakami — Sponsor of Italian Opera in Japan

Atsuto Sawakami is a slightly built man in his late sixties with impeccable, gentlemanly manners. He communicates a certain restless energy and his piercingly bright eyes reveal an undimmed appetite for life.

Mark Stone — Oxford Lieder Festival

‘Lieder v. Opera’? At first glance it might seem to be a pointless or nonsensical question.

Rhymes With Opera Presents New Opera About Dolly Parton Fans

Extreme Dolly Parton fans may sound like unlikely subjects for an opera, but they are the major characters in Heartbreak Express, a collaboration of composer George Lam and librettist John Clum.

Oxford Lieder Festival 2015 - Sholto Kynoch interview

Last year's Oxford Lieder Festival made something of a splash when it encompassed all of Schubert's songs, performed in the space of three weeks. This year's festival, the 14th, which runs from 16 to 31 October 2015 has a rather different, yet still eye-catching theme; Singing Words: Poets and their Songs.

Sondra Radvanovsky Stars in the Title Role of Anna Bolena

The First of Three Donizetti Queens She Will Sing at the Met This Season

For Odyssey Opera, No Operatic Challenge is Too Great

For a company founded in 2013, Odyssey Opera has an astounding track record. To take on Korngold’s Die tote Stadt is ambitious enough, but to do so within only a year of the company’s founding seems almost single-minded.

Hibla Gerzmava to Debut at Carnegie Hall

The name of Hibla Gerzmava has been famous in the opera world since 1994, when at age 24 the Abkhazian-Russian soprano won the Grand Prix at Tchaikovsky International Competition, entering its history as the first and only vocalist to have been awarded the highest prize.

A Chat with Tenor René Barbera

American tenor René Barbera is fast making a name for himself as one of the top bel canto singers in opera houses around the world.

Odyssey Opera Presents the Boston Premiere of Le Cid in One-­Night-­Only Concert Event

(Boston, MA) — Odyssey Opera, a Boston-based opera company dedicated to exploring the full spectrum of adventurous repertoire, presents the Boston premiere of one of France’s great operas, Le Cid (1885), composed by Jules Massenet (1842–1912).

Stefano Mastrangelo — An Italian in Japan

I’m interviewing Stefano Mastrangelo in the immediate aftermath of his conducting La Traviata for the Chofu City Opera in Tokyo on 22 November 2014; he conveys an air at once of tiredness and exhilaration.

Apotheosis Opera to Stage Tannhäuser

Apotheosis Opera is proud to announce their inaugural production will be a fully-staged English translation of Richard Wagner’s early masterpiece TANNHÄUSER on Friday, July 31, 2015, at 7pm and Sunday, August 2, 2015, at 3pm at the theatre of El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue) .

Operalia 2015

‘Competitions are for horses, not artists.’ The words of Béla Bartók seemed apposite on Sunday night at the Royal Opera House, as 11 soloists walked swiftly onto the Covent Garden stage, performed their chosen aria, briefly acknowledged the applause and then returned summarily to the wings.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

Maria Callas as Violetta (1956)
22 Mar 2009

Historic Performances: Maria Callas

Although born in New York City, Maria Callas (1923-1977) received her musical education in Greece and started her career in Italy.

Her big break occurred in an appearance in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda in Verona.

This successful appearance (2 August 1947) under Serafin was the start of her real career and she was soon in demand in Italian theatres for such heavy roles as Aida, Turandot, Isolde, Kundry and Brünnhilde. A rare versatility was shown in Venice in 1949 when, only three days after singing a Walküre Brünnhilde, she deputized for an indisposed colleague in the florid bel canto role of Elvira in Bellini’s I puritani. Thereafter, under the guidance of Serafin, she gradually relinquished her heavier roles in order to concentrate on the earlier Italian operas. Besides adding to her repertory Bellini’s Amina, Donizetti’s Lucia and Verdi’s Leonora (Il trovatore), Violetta and Gilda, she was in constant demand whenever rare and vocally taxing operas of the older school were produced, such as Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo (in its world première, 1951, Florence), Gluck’s Alceste and Iphigénie en Tauride, Cherubini’s Médée, Spontini’s La vestale, Rossini’s Armida and Il turco in Italia, Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and Poliuto, and Bellini’s Il pirata. Her greatest triumphs were won as Norma, Medea, Anne Boleyn, Lucia, Verdi's Lady Macbeth and Violetta, and Tosca. Many of these roles she repeated in the major opera houses of the world, where her fame reached a level that recalled the careers of Caruso and Chaliapin.

[Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Callas [Kalogeropoulou], (Cecilia Sophia Anna) Maria, Grove Music Online]

Her career proved to be a succession of triumphs and controversies, perhaps the most famous incident being her so-called “firing” by Rudolph Bing in 1958 . Vocal difficulties and personal disappointments ultimately led to the end of her career. Her last public performance occurred in Sapporo, Japan, in 1974.

[Click here for Wikipedia's more detailed biography.]

Links:

  1. DONIZETTI: Lucia di Lamermoor
  2. BELLINI: Norma — Roma 1955
  3. BELLINI: Il Pirata — New York 1959
  4. VERDI: Un ballo in maschera — La Scala 1957
  5. VERDI: La Traviata — Lisbon 1958
  6. ROSSINI: Armida — Firenze 1952
  7. PUCCINI: Tosca — Mexico City 1952
  8. BELLINI: La sonnambula — La Scala 1957
  9. CHERUBINI: Medea — La Scala 1961
  10. ROSSINI: Il Barbiere di Siviglia — La Scala 1956

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):