100 YEARS FROM THE BIRTH OF MARIA CALLAS
Maria Callas (born Maria Kalogeropoulos), the legendary soprano of the 20th century, was born in New York to Greek immigrant parents on 2 December 1923. Encouraged by her mother, she began studying opera singing at an early age, and in 1937 moved back with her family to Greece. There, she completed her musical education and, despite her very young years, was soon performing lead roles at the Greek National Opera from 1940 to 1944. Her return to the United States in 1945 marked the launch of her international career. In the 1950s, she triumphed at Milan’s La Scala and other prestigious opera houses around the world, with her electrifying interpretations of the most challenging soprano roles, mainly in works by Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini and Puccini. Her art combined dramatic insight and skillful mastery of her rich timbre. After a rapid vocal decline in the 1960s prematurely ended her stage career, she turned to recitals and master classes. Maria Callas died in Paris on 16 September 1977.
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