Opera Gala in memory of Maria Callas in Thessaloniki
Eighty years have passed since the birth of the great diva Maria Callas. A lieder evening-tribute to the artist whose memory has not only remained unchanged over time, but has become even stronger, and serves many opera singers as the standard by which they judge themselves, is organised -as every year- at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall on September 16. It's the same date Callas passed away 26 years ago.
The world famous soprano VesselinaKasarova interprets arias by the greatest representatives of Italian opera (Puccini, Bizet, Cilea, Massenet, Rossini) in an effort to spread at an extremely difficult repertoire that just a few artists -- among them Maria Callas -- dared to interpret during their career. Interpreting such a repertoire requires special vocal capabilities (for example large ectasis of the voice), thanks to which Callas earned a place at lyric theatre house of Fame.
Tenor Emil Ivanov and the Thessaloniki State Orchestra, concucted by Nikos Athinaios, also participate in the tribute.
The tribute to Callas includes the following works:
-- Il Barbiere di Seviglia του Gioacchino Rossini
-- L' Arlesiana by Francesco Cilea
-- Werther by Jules Massenet
-- Suor Angelica and Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
-- Carmen by Georges Bizet
A few words about Maria Callas
Callas. One of the greatest and most versatile operatic singers in recent history. She sang an incredible variety of roles; from Wagnerian to light coloratura; from high soprano to mezzo. But it is not just the range of roles she was capable of singing, but how she sang them that makes her special.
Maria Callas had a distinctive vocal timbre which she could colour in a seemingly infinite number of manners. She could also act, a rarity with opera singers still today. She was a joy to listen to and watch. True her voice was flawed, but her artistry was unmatched.
Maria Meneghini Callas was born Sophie Cecelia Kalogeropoulou (Kalos) (or Maria Anna Cecilia Sophia Kalogeropoulos) on 2 December, 1923 in New York. She left the United States in 1937 to move to Greece.
There she studied at the Athens Conservatory. She made her professional operatic debut in a major role, Tosca, at the Athens Opera in 1941. She married Giovanni Battista Meneghini in 1949, and he guided her career until their separation in 1959.
She went on to triumphant performances at all of the major opera houses. Her last operatic appearance was in 1965 at Covent Garden, again as Tosca. She gave a number of master classes in 1971-72. In the following two years, she toured with Giuseppe di Stefano in recitals of arias with piano accompaniment. She died in 1977 in Paris.