Maria Callas revolutionized the art of opera, influencing repertoire and singing style more than any artist this century. Here, homage is paid to this extraordinary diva through a text and a series of photographs of La Callas at rehearsals, at recordings, performing and off the stage. We follow her from her first performance of Bellini's Norma at the age of 19, through the highlights of her career in the late 1950s, with triumphant performances of opera's greatest female roles, from Violetta in Verdi's "La Traviata" to Wagner's Brunnhilde. La Callas was adored and adulated, but little loved. She often found herself the centre of controversy and scandal, which contributed to the insecurity which haunted her throughout her life. Her destiny echoed that of the tragic heroines she so often portrayed, and the roles she played both on and off the stage left her physically and emotionally exhausted. She lived out her final years in silence and solitude, unaware of the great legacy she would leave behind her, or of the great legend that she had become. Photographs are included here of La Callas rehearsing or performing in: Parsifal; La Vestale; La Traviata; La Gioconda; Medea; Madame Butterfly; Poliuto; Macbeth; La Somnanbula; Il Pirata.
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It's hard to believe there's a whole new generation of opera lovers who have come of age with little acquaintance with the unparalleled art of Maria Callas. This singer was a key catalyzing element in the postwar renaissance of fascination with opera's possibilities--musical and dramatic--that continues into the present. Of course, the techniques of "mechanical reproduction" can only hint at the unique aura that this icon--known to her admirers as "La Divina"--possessed. But no opera lover should be without at least some examples of her recorded legacy, say in such signature roles as Tosca, Norma, or Violetta in La Traviata. As for that other crucial aspect of the Callas aura--her mesmerizing stage presence--this attractively produced book offers a tantalizing hint, whether for the longtime Callas fanatic or the budding operaphile. Copublished by the Vendome Press (which is also the source for the lavishly illustrated coffee-table tribute to the great tenors), La Callas is essentially a visual essay comprising 40-plus black-and-white photographs. We see the artist backstage, in her private life, and wearing the masks of several of her great roles. When Callas becomes the medium for one of these character interpretations--Medea, Lucia, Butterfly--the utter transformation registered by the camera is still transfixing. Introducing the photographs is a short but notionally rich essay by French music critic André Tubeuf, consisting of a thumbnail sketch of Callas's life and some thoughtful musings on the significance of her fame. Those seeking an in-depth assessment of Callas's legacy will do well by John Ardoin's well-regarded The Callas Legacy; thecontroversial biography by Stelios Galatopoulos should also be of interest. --Thomas MayAbout the Author:
Philosopher, writer, and one of France's most respected music critics, André Tubeuf was born in Smyrna, Turkey, in 1932. He contributes regularly to Le Point, Diapason, and L'Avant-Scène and is the author of numerous publications on opera and classical music, including biographies of Richard Strauss (Albin Michel, 1980) and Mozart (Arthaud, 1990).
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Book Description Assouline, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M284323106X