World famous opera singer. Maria Callas, died in Paris on Friday (16 September), apparently of?
World famous opera singer. Maria Callas, died in Paris on Friday (16 September), apparently of a heart attack. She was born in New York of Greek parents, and took the world of opera by storm in the years that followed World War Two.
SYNOPSIS: Miss Callas was an internationally- acclaimed star by 1949 - and her fiery temper quickly gained her as much notoriety as her singing and acting. Impresarios who knew her backstage called her the "Tigress" but to her fans she was the "divine Callas".
The year after she began divorce proceedings against her husband, Giovanni Meneghini, she met millionaire Greek shipowner, Aristotle Onassis. That was in 1960 and their relationship filled gossip columns for years. Miss Callas successfully sued a French magazine and radio station for saying she had threatened suicide when Onassis married Jacoueline Kenedy in 1968.
Miss Callas unofficially retired from the stage in 1965, but she returned in 1973. Some critics said her voice was not it had been, but with ten applicants for every seat at London's Festival Hall, the criticism didn't seem to bother her.
A first audition with La Scala in Milan led to her being rejected as an imperfect vocalist. Later she recalled that iron discipline and constant work took her to the top. She played many leading soprano roles, particularly Belini's Norma, and sang in Rome, Florence, Milan, New York and London. Miss Callas was 53 years old when she died.