Where I share my inspirations, new work announcements and whatever else I find interesting. To view my artwork or read any of my performance reviews please see the link to my homepage in the sidebar. Offended by occasional male nudity or awesome homoerotic art content? This is not the place for you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

La Divina

Callas as Pasolini's Medea
To me, Maria Callas is synonymous with my earliest days of discovering opera.  The first disc of hers I ever owned was an original copy of highlights from Madama Butterfly which I discovered in second hand book store for a dollar when I was about 14.  It was in poor condition but I cannot part with it, even now when I have the complete recording on CD.

Aida was the first complete recording of Callas I purchased and certainly a characterisation of the title role which I find no one comes even close to, even despite her flaws. From there I devoured any book I came across on her life and bought as many records as I could afford.  Indeed I can credit her for my love of vintage album covers from the era, a love that continues to this day.

Her colourful life to me became the epitomy of the opera lifestyle and as a young gay boy growing up in 80's Perth gave me a much needed escape from the cultural wasteland around me.  I wanted to be as talented as her in my own field and equally as renowned.

Maria Callas - Portrait
Maria got to where she was through sheer hard work and determination and that was what I was going to do.  Her example also showed me that no matter how high your artistic ideals, or how talented you are, the sacrifice you make personally is often a big one and balance in one's life is as important as attaining greatness.

She left behind a rich and varied recording legacy, the immortal Medea film by Pasolini and a few filmed performances.

Here is what would be her most famous role, Norma and Lucia aside: Puccini's Tosca. This video is from the classic Zeffirelli production from Covent Garden in 1964 with Tito Gobbi and Renato Cioni, Act 2 in it's entirety.


  


Happy birthday Maria Callas, Prima Donna Assoluta.  (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977)



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