Well we are entitled to have our own opinion -as amateuristic that maybe-
let's hear what the experts have said about Callas:
June Anderson: "In her live pirate recordings made prior to 1953 someone
listens to singing that approaches ultimate perfection" [said to the sunday
newspaper Vima in Greece during her Fantastic appearance as Lucia di
Lamermoor in Athens]
Dame Joan Sutherland: "There are parts in Maria's Traviata that I always
tried to sing like she did, I mean I had it in my mind to sing them as she
did but I never managed to do so" [BBC doc. DIVAS]
"Callas didn't become a Legend, she was born a Legend, the rest of us were
just born with the charisma of a great Voice. I was so sad when her Voice
was suddenly lost with the loss of her weight... when we were singing Norma
in Covent Garden I used to sit behind the scene and watch Callas and
Stgnani singing their duet. Seeing those two could make you melt by Beauty,
Unbelievable Beauty..." [Sunday Vima, April 15th, 2001].
Jessy Norman: "Even Callas' breaths created Art... they were part of the
High Art created by her interpretation"..."If Opera were a dying species we
wouldn't be today talking with much love about Callas' live appearances on
stage..." [Sunday Vima, August 29th, 1999]
Teresa Berganza: "We were rehearsing on Medea in Dallas. I arrived at the
theatre an hour before schedule, Callas was already there, working. Seeing
her working like this I said to myself: That is why she IS Callas, I want
to be like her. We all know Maria could not see, in Medea she had to run up
and down some stairs whithout looking at them, so she went every morning to
learn how to go up and down the stairs without looking at them. In that
performance I was singing Neris, an old nurse. When Callas saw the make up
artists trying to transform my face into that of an old woman, she
said: "Leave her without make up. She is so beautiful. It does not matter
that she won't look old. It is worse to hide such beauty". In one scene I
was singing with my back turned to the audience and while I was singing
Callas whispered to my ear: What a beautiful Voice...Turn your face towards
the audience. I, out of respect towards Callas, didn't do that... She
grabbed me by the arm and turned me towards the audience. She was an
incredibly generous person" [Sunday Vima, September 5th, 1999].
Sumi Jo: "Callas had escaped from the normal, the ordinary... whatever she
did was magic..."
Carlo Maria Giulini: "Callas could break your heart even by calling her
maid's name in one recitative..."
Tito Gobbi: "We reached together the 100% of interpretation in Tosca. We
weren't Maria and Tito, she was Tosca in every little move she made and I
was Scarpia... She was true, genuine without the old cliche. We will never
see anyone better than Maria"
Giulieta Simionato: "I remember Callas praising me in one of her interviews
about the high C, I so easily sang in Norma and which most mezzos did not
sing and she was wondering how no critic ever praised me for that".
Leonard Bernstein: "She was the only truly great bel canto singer of the
second half of the 20th century"
Franco Corelli: "As today I listen to the recording of Poliuto we had done
together I keep thinking: where on earth is another singer as great as
E Schwarzkopf: (for Callas' Koln Sonnambula) "I was never fond of
Sonnambula. But that night Callas sang with so many "pianni, pianissimi et
questi mezzi colori" (interview in Italian) that her singing was that of a
M Caballe: "Callas was the Perfect Lyrical Singer that the Opera always
While doing my little research I also read 3 comments by Augusta
Oltrabella, Elena Nikolai and Fedora Barbieri which I am sure someone will
post as a response to all of the above :))
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