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Thread: Maria Callas! Why?

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    Member michael walsh's Avatar
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    Default Maria Callas! Why?

    Clearly, like Luciano Pavaroti, a one-off. But what makes her special to you? To me, it is her convincing acting ability. She doesn't play the part - she IS the part, the heroine. God bless you, Maria. Thank you. You live in the hearts of those you leave behind.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Yes... She certainly had a brilliant vocal ability at her prime... but there were others who had a greater mastery of their "instrument". However, she brought such an incredible sense of feeling... emotion... passion to the roles... even to roles that may have been dismissed as lightweight (as opposed to Wagner, for example). She is like Glenn Gould... not flawless in any way... but able to wrench far more out of the music in spite of any technical flaws than most others. Her Tosca and Mme. Butterfly still give me goosebumps because the passion they convey is "real".

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    Callas was one of the greatest opera singers of the C20th, ranking among the likes of Caruso, Gigli, Tebaldi, Schwarzkopf, Sutherland, Pavorotti, etc. etc...

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    Senior Member classidaho's Avatar
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    Callas, like Patricia Pettibon need to be seen to be appreciated.........

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsKx5...eature=related

    This is a must view! , Chuck
    always shoot from the hip....

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    Member michael walsh's Avatar
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    Hey, you hijacked my Callas thread, but thanks anyway. I enjoyed that. Total loss of inhibition. I couldn't do it; thank goodness some can.

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    A Maria Callas cassette was how I was introduced to opera years ago. She remains very close to my heart.

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    Senior Member BalloinMaschera's Avatar
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    Yes, I think her voice was not always beautiful, her ability to emote was incredible. While most opera singers attempt to inhabit a character- with her, one got the feeling that the character inhabited her. I think the way that she served her art, remains on many levels peerless.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Amazing. Just amazing. I've been listening back to back to the box set of her 100 best moments (6 CDs) that I got as a gift a few weeks ago.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Callas was at her best in 1950s and everyone says her as the best bel canto singer to this day.

    Isn't there any soprano stand above her? So much time has passed and so many singers have done.

    Almost all her recordings are in public domain already and I want to listen new voices surpass her.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    My feelings about Maria Callas are rather contradictory. On the one hand she's definitely not one of my favorite sopranos in terms of how much I like the sound of her voice. On the other hand I always have had a lot of Callas in my collection - I even have that 70cd "The Complete Studio Recordings" set. It's sorta like, I enjoy listening to others more most of the time, but her interpretations are such that for many roles she has sung you don't really completely know the character until you've heard Callas' statement on them. She's an interpretative genius, and there are not many (if any) other singers I'd say that about - including those I like more.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harmony View Post
    Callas was at her best in 1950s and everyone says her as the best bel canto singer to this day.

    Isn't there any soprano stand above her? So much time has passed and so many singers have done.

    Almost all her recordings are in public domain already and I want to listen new voices surpass her.
    Well, there are plenty of sopranos with better voice and better technique than Callas, but not many with as much stage presence and acting talent, as well as musicality and a personal sense of interpretation of the role. Voice is very, very important, of course, but is not all. When you put everything together, I'd still say that Maria Callas was the number 1 soprano in recorded opera history, to this day.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    I agree with you.
    The "voice" I said does not mean "physical voice" or "beauty or technique of physical sound"
    but "interpretation/inspiration".
    (:

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    I am a huge fan of the early Callas ( esp 1952 and earlier but even as late as 55) when she had total mastery over her voice and could carry her Wagnerian sized voice all the way up to High E.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caYGRDIBAa0: this aria cannot be bettered!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is coloratura genius.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classidaho View Post
    Callas, like Patricia Pettibon need to be seen to be appreciated.........

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsKx5...eature=related

    This is a must view! , Chuck
    If Callas needed to be seen to be appreciated she would have been forgotten long ago. There is hardly any video evidence of her fabulous stage presence. It is her recorded legacy that keeps her alive, and, anyway, in the words of the eminent critic John Steane, when somebody once said you really need to see her, "Oh, but I can and I do." That is her genius. Every fleeting facial expression is expressed with her voice.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Apr-23-2015 at 10:11.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Her biggest asset was her innate musicality, and the way she could act with that multi-coloured voice of hers. So it was never perfectly even from top to bottom, and, even in her earlier days, top notes could be harsh or strident, but the range of emotion it expressed was unparalleled.

    People often say her technique let her down, but they are wrong. It was her voice that let her down. Even at the end of her career, in her recording of Arrigo, ah parli a un core, she can sing a perfect legato two and a half octave chromatic scale, every note cleanly articulated. The top notes are strident and the lowest slightly hoarse, but the scale itself is perfection. Her technique was incredible, allowing her to render music with a musical accuracy many could not approach. If evidence be required, then just listen to either of her two recordings of the Mad Scene from I Puritani (Cetra and EMI). Listen to her amazing legato, perfect use of portamento, her brilliantly accurate scale passages and chromatic runs, her prodigious breath control. What is astonishing though is how all these technical niceties are brought to the service of the music and the emotion enshrined therein; the scales aren't just scales they are the sighs of a wounded soul.

    She was a unique, a musical genius, one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, and I very much doubt we will hear her like again.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Apr-23-2015 at 13:50.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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