It's 25 Years Ago Today Since Maria Callas Died.
September 16, 2002 5:54 PM   Subscribe

It's 25 Years Ago Today Since Maria Callas Died. There's a badly designed but well-intentioned and informative Italian website to commemorate the anniversary and there's the film Callas Forever, directed by one of her best friends (and the director of many of her most memorable operas, Franco Zefirelli. It premiered today. Mozart's Requiem was also played at the concert held in her honour tonight in Athens. I can't help thinking, though, that the Web is sorely lacking in resources about one of the greatest, most goosebump-provoking singers who ever lived. In fact, classical singers and classical music in general seem very (increasingly) badly served. Even the glorious Andante magazine, which I recently linked to, looks like it's disappeared...
posted by MiguelCardoso (21 comments total)
....story of my life...trumped by high culture...
posted by dash_slot- at 5:56 PM on September 16, 2002

it's been over since the fat lady sang.
posted by quonsar at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2002

Fortunately, opera and classical music are fairly well represented on usenet. I have a large backlog of early recordings yet to listen to, including a large amount of Callas, though her tendency toward a warble is not my favorite style. My own favorite is Victoria de los Angeles.
(RE: usenet, new CD purchases will have to wait for better financial times)
posted by HTuttle at 6:11 PM on September 16, 2002

The internet was an indispensable tool during my opera studies (which were, admittedly, basic). I'd love to see this film when it comes to the states. My favorite film commemorating a musician/artist's life has to be "32 short films about glenn gould".
Having been to some 200 websites re opera in recent months, can you be more specific Miguel?
posted by G_Ask at 6:24 PM on September 16, 2002

G_Ask: I have no opera studies at all, not even basic. In fact, I'm almost an ignoramus regarding opera. I was actually referring to websites about classical music for general listeners, hoping the thread might throw some up. I do have a passion for Callas and thought the lack of decent websites might be in some way indicative. I don't know...I hope I'm wrong!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:30 PM on September 16, 2002

Thanks for news of the Zeffirelli flick, Miguel. I'm glad to know of the official site too, but, it's too bad it isn't better designed. As it happens I was browsing CDnow for Callas this morning. It seems to be the place for Italian imports, at least for us in the States. Try AMG for a concise bio and fuller discography. As an amateur student of opera and classical music (but by no means an expert) I've been disappointed with what I've found on the Web, too; but I'd love to learn what others have found.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:32 PM on September 16, 2002

The Aria database has been handy (but buggy).
posted by HTuttle at 6:39 PM on September 16, 2002

Oops, due to some URL mix-up Andante is still going - here's their news of the Callas concert in Athens tonight, along with an article on the Zefirelli film and other links.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:17 PM on September 16, 2002

20 years ago I bought (and still passionately treasure) four black & white videos of her singing live (probably TV recordings) in the Paris and Milan opera houses in the 50's/60's, inlcuding Tosca. Never seen anything so wonderful and moving. PS Nathan Lane was masterful in one of his earliest (and funniest) performances off-broadway impersonating her in The Lisbon Traviata.
posted by Voyageman at 7:22 PM on September 16, 2002

Hey Voyageman, old friend! The Lisbon Traviata is an issue here - I have a bootleg copy, which is actually the official RDP (our BBC) recording; much better than the official EMI release) and it's far better; a revelation.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:28 PM on September 16, 2002

Saludos, Miguel. We can now enjoy our bootleg copies on Ari's yacht the "Christina O". "...The yacht has come under new ownership and undergone a restoration of an unprecedented scale and caliber that cost over $50 million. All of the yacht's signature features – such as Ari's Bar, the lapis lazuli fireplace, convertible swimming pool/dance floor – have been restored to their original elegance with meticulous attention to detail. ... DVD and CD players with surround sound, six-head showers, antique prints of the Greek Isles and fine Venetian linens grace each stateroom while a fresh air system replaces the air approximately once every five minutes..."
posted by Voyageman at 7:48 PM on September 16, 2002

I wore it like a badge of teenage film stars
Hash bars, cherry mash and tinfoil tiaras
Dreaming of Maria Callas
Whoever she is
This fame thing, I don't get it

- M. Stipe
posted by davebush at 8:03 PM on September 16, 2002

darnit, davebush, you beat me to it!

Aluminum tastes like fear
Adrenaline pull us near...
posted by Vidiot at 9:37 PM on September 16, 2002

er, "pulls" us near.
posted by Vidiot at 9:38 PM on September 16, 2002

Alright, If I understand you correctly, Miguel, I might have to agree. Just trying some general searches, I was not impressed. In the past I've only used site-specific searches ("Wagner vs. Bugs Bunny," "the lives of Castrati," etc.) and was not disappointed.
Surely there are mefites with links out there!
posted by G_Ask at 9:39 PM on September 16, 2002

Maria Calllas and Marc Bolan died on the same day? It's making my mind reel imagining how newspapers laid those out next to each other 25 years ago.
posted by rex at 10:54 PM on September 16, 2002

Thanks for the reminder Miguel. Had already pulled out a bottle of old red wine, and a CD with Maria singing the lead in Tosca. Aaahhhh .... that voice .....
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:18 PM on September 16, 2002

rex: I imagine that the Times and the Telegraph went with Callas and the Sun and the Mirror with Bolan. The Guardian will have led with the headline "Famuso sniger digs".
posted by Grangousier at 12:34 AM on September 17, 2002

The BBC site has some interesting sound bits taken from Callas masterclasses, which give a nice insight into her method.
posted by monkey closet at 2:35 AM on September 17, 2002

Haven't I mentioned the cantabile subito page to you, Miguel? 460 sopranos alone are listed including Maria Callas. I found it at Bob Watt's marvelous music streams weblog iii. It seems to be just what the doctor ordered... Sorry I'm so late with this.
posted by y2karl at 10:43 PM on September 17, 2002

Thank you Miguel.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:55 AM on September 18, 2002

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