The Definitive Diva

The Life and Career of Maria Callas

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About the Book

Maria Callas was, perhaps, the greatest opera singer of the 20th century. Hers was a life lived on the world stage, and her fame extended to the public consciousness of many parts of the world. Even after her mysterious death in 1977, her singing and acting continue to thrill new generations of opera fans thanks to her many recordings and her fascinating life. This new biography of Callas tells her story from difficult beginnings as the daughter of Greek immigrants to New York City in 1923 to her wonderful performances at La Scala, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. Callas was quite a diva and a master at creating a captivating public image. She also became notorious because of her very public affair with Aristotle Onassis, the wealthy ship-owner who left Callas to marry Jacqueline Kennedy.

About the Author(s)

John Louis DiGaetani, professor emeritus of English at Hofstra University, is the author of numerous books about opera and theater.

Bibliographic Details

John Louis DiGaetani

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 217
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6263-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4340-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Birth in New York 7
2. Athens and World War II 20
3. Back to New York 32
4. Verona and the Arena 41
5. Conquering Italy and South America 57
6. Titta, Marriage and Meteoric Ascent 66
7. La Scala at Last 75
8. Back to La Scala—Conquering America 83
9. Enter Onassis, and Addio, Titta 104
10. 1959 and the Affair with Onassis 118
11. Free of Battista and Pursuing Aristo 127
12. Loving Onassis 132
13. Enter Jacqueline Kennedy 140
14. Vocal Problems: “The Wobble” 150
15. The Return of Onassis 158
16. Teaching in New York, Directing in Turin 162
17. The Final Tour with Di Stefano 169
18. Death in Paris 184
19. The Aftermath and the Callas Legacy 192
Bibliography 203
Index 207