Women Making History: Martha Graham, Leah of Married to the Mob, The Ladies of Hottub, Michelle Ten of Missfitstyles, Isabelle aka Narcissister, The Ladies of She-bible, and Maria Callas
Week three of our Women Making History series for 2009 has come to an end. Below you’ll find links to all the incredible ladies we’ve featured thus far. Make sure to check out any you might have missed and, again, stay tuned cause we’re not done with March which means we’re not done honoring Women’s History Month!
Maria Anna Sophie Kalogeropoulos, more commonly known as Maria Callas, was born in 1923 on Long Island, New York. Although she was technically American, Maria’s parents hailed from Greece, and she spent most of her career performing in Italy.
Women Who Made History: Maria Callas
Maria was an opera singer characterized by some critics as a soprano, and by others as a mezzo-soprano later in her career. She studied at the National Conservatoire in Athens beginning in 1938 and quickly made her operatic debut in 1941 as Beatrice in “Boccaccio”. While in Athens, the singer performed such operas as “Tosca”, “Tiefland”, “Cavalleria Rusticana”, “Fidelio”, and “Der Bettelstudent” at the Palas Cinema before returning to the U.S. in 1944 to reunite with her father. After trying out for the Metropolitan Opera and failing to secure a role there or any other place in New York, Callas went into true hustler mode: When she heard Tullio Serafin was looking for a dramatic for “Tristan und Isolde”, Callas told him that she already knew the score, even though she had only briefly looked through the part. She sight-read the opera’s second act for Serafin, and he was so impressed with her “knowledge of the role” that he gave her the part. Callas went to Italy, where she started to perform less classical roles and focused more on Italy’s bel canto roles. Soon after, she was coined La Divina because of her amazing vocal ability and her particular gift for the use of other languages in her music.