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Maria Callas: Sacred Monster

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I am not an angel and do not pretend to be. That is not one of my roles. But I am not the devil, either. I am a woman and a serious artist, and I would like so to be judged."
— Maria Callas

This is the authoritative biography of one of the great icons of the century, Maria Callas, the most brilliant and controversial singer-actress of modern times. Written by a music scholar, opera critic, and, toward the end of Callas' life, a close friend, Sacred Monster is an account of the singer's triumphant and tumultuous public career and her private life. "There are two people in me, Maria and Callas....Their difference is only that Callas is a celebrity," she remarked. The celebrity Callas defined an age of opera. The private Callas is a source of lasting fascination.

Sacred Monster is not only the definitive portrait of one of the greatest artists of the century, it corrects the many misguided books about Callas that have appeared since her death in 1977 at the age of fifty-three. Galatopoulos writes about Callas objectively — recognizing her flaws, her temperament, and the signs of premature vocal deterioration. He re-creates the triumph of intelligence, hard work, musical talent, grit, and fierceness that enabled Callas to rise to superstardom. He recounts her sometimes stormy relationships with the conductors, managers, and fellow stars, and with her family, husband, and lover.

Galatopoulos attended more than a hundred of Callas' performances and he describes not only the brilliance of her many triumphs, the disappointments of her setbacks, and the poignance of her premature decline, but also her legacy, which resides in her continuing influence and her extensive and valuable discography. Callas chose to share many of her most frank judgments about her professional problems with Galatopoulos. Perhaps most dramatically, in this book, which might almost be called "Callas Has the Last Word," Galatopoulos sets straight the soap opera portrait some have drawn of a shattered and reclusive woman abandoned by her lover, Aristotle Onassis. In fact, Callas and Onassis resumed their friendship shortly after his marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy. This portrait of Callas shows her in retirement every bit as forceful and engaged as she was on stage.

Maria Callas: Sacred Monster is lavishly illustrated. One hundred pages of photographs show Callas' roles in a visual documentary of the period 1947 to 1965, a truly golden age of opera. Many of the images have never before been published. A complete survey of Callas' recordings and a list of her performances are also included.

About the Author

Stelios Galatopoulos has contributed to many music journals, including Music and Musicians, Records and Recordings, and Lirica nel Mondo (Italy). He has written for all the major recording companies and has contributed program notes for many opera and concert performances. His books include Italian Opera (1971) and two previous studies of Callas, Callas La Divina (1963) and Callas: Prima Donna Assoluta (1976). He has recently completed a life of Bellini.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgements and credits

Prologue: Conversations with Callas

PART ONE Beginnings

1 Roots
2 First Flights
3 America Revisited

Cavalleria rusticana
Boccaccio
Tosca
Ho Protomastoras
Tiefland
Fidelio
La Gioconda
Tristan und Isolde
Die Walküre
Parsifal
I Puritani
Aida

PART TWO Prima Donna

4 The Two Gentlemen of Verona
5 Success and Squabbles in Latin America
6 The Passionate Pilgrim Attains La Scala
7 Crusade to the New World

Nabucco
Turandot
Il trovatore
I vespri Siciliani
Die Entführung aus
dem Serail
Orfeo ed Euridice
Armida
Rigoletto

PART THREE La Divina

8 The Years of Triumph...and Visconti
9 The Metropolitan

Norma
Madama Butterfly
Macbeth
Alceste
Don Carlos
Mefistofele
Il Turco in Italia

PART FOUR Prima Donna Assoluta

10 Rivals and Recriminations
11 Scandals
12 More Scandals: The Break with Rome and La Scala
13 At War with the Metropolitan

La vestale
Andrea Chénier
Il barbiere di Siviglia
Medea
Fedora

PART FIVE Life Beyond Art

14 A Fated Greek Cruise and Onassis
15 Divorce and Return to the Stage
16 Decline and Retirement

Lucia di Lammermoor
La traviata
La sonnambula
Anna Bolena

PART SIX Finale

17 Remembrance of Times Past
18 The Making of the Artist
19 Twilight of a Sacred Monster

Ifigenia in Tauris
Un ballo in maschera
Il pirata
Poliuto
Tosca

Appendices
Discography
Chronology of Performances
Select Bibliography
Picture Acknowledgements
Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684859859
Subtitle:
The Tigress and the Lamb
Author:
Galatopoulos, Stelios
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Composers & Musicians
Subject:
Sopranos (Singers)
Subject:
Callas, maria, 1923-1977
Subject:
Callas, Maria
Subject:
Sopranos (Singers) -- Biography.
Subject:
Sopranos
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - General
Subject:
General Biography
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Publication Date:
19990402
Binding:
HC
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
10.33x8.37x1.64 in. 3.44 lbs.

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera » General

Maria Callas: Sacred Monster
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Product details 544 pages Simon & Schuster Books - English 9780684859859 Reviews:
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