Everything has already been said and written about La Callas.
So I’m not gonna add another enthusiastic post from another unconditional fan.
I just wanted to let you be the judge.
I’ve selected 4 extracts from YouTube, from the 4 major female roles in Italian opera; Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Lucia from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Norma from Bellini’s Norma and Violetta from Verdi’s La Traviata.
I’m giving you the YouTube version of Maria Callas I prefer, as well as the other version I fancy (from anyone but Callas).
There’s no brainstorming on these extracts for me.
However great the other singer is (and I must admit Ciofi as Lucia, Gheorghiu as Violetta and Dessay as Amina are pretty amazing), Maria Callas is still singing in another galaxy.
Amina – La Sonnambula – two extracts from two recitals of the same aria, “Ah! non credea mirarti”
The Callas recital, the 2006 New York performance of Natalie Dessay.
Lucia – Lucia di Lammermoor – two live performances of the Mad Scene.
The Callas 1955 live from Berlin (part one, part two), the 2006 Orange performance of Patrizia Ciofi (part one, part two).
Norma – Norma – two live performances of “Casta Diva”
The Callas 1955 Opening night at La Scala (sound only), the 1974 Orange performance of Montserrat Caballé.
Violetta – La Traviata – two live performances of “Sempre libera”
The Callas 1951 live from Mexico City (sound only), the 1994 Covent Garden performance of Angela Gheorghiu.
- An article published in Time Magazine on Callas, written by Cecilia Bartoli
- Interviews of Maria Callas in French (1965 and 1969), extracts from the INA archives (other extracts here)
- French site exclusively about Maria Callas
- La Divina Maria Callas (in Italian and in English)
- listing of main sites about Callas