Personalities | Maria Callas | Modern Era | Opera
Known as ‘La Divina’ (The Divine One), soprano Callas was regarded as the greatest singing actress of the twentieth century. She revitalized forgotten operas and her delivery combined technical precision with dramatic intensity. Born in New York City, Callas’s family returned to Greece when she was 13. She made her debut in Athens at the age of 17, singing the role of Tosca. Her repertoire remained diverse until Italian conductor Tullio Serafin redirected her towards the coloratura bel canto works of Bellini and Donizetti. Callas’s personal life and difficult temperament were often as dramatic as her stage roles. She married Giovanni Meneghini, which freed her from financial worry, but they separated in 1959. Her equally volatile relationship with tycoon Aristotle Onassis was also highly publicized.
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