“Probably millions of words have been written about La Callas, and quite a few about the vulnerable, lonely, elusive creature who was Maria. There is little I can add. She shone for all too brief a while in the world of opera, like a vivid flame attracting the attention of the whole world, and she had a strange magic which was all her own. I always thought she was immortal – and she is.”
– Tito Gobbi
Programme 4: La Divina (1960-1977)
Broadcast “live” on Fine Music Radio on 28 September 2012.
The final programme in my series on Maria Callas focuses on her final years and takes a closer look at the woman behind the legend, her relationship with Aristotle Onassis, her artistic legacy and posthumous influence on opera. As the critic Michael Roubinet once noted: “Maria Callas suffered a fate as flamboyant as it was tragic, like her favourite characters, those women who came into their own fully as they submitted to the playing out of their destiny: Norma, Violetta, Tosca, Medea… Happily the recordings are there to pay homage to the artist to whom we owe an eternal debt, and to bear witness to an art which will live forever.”
Podcast Track List
3) “Werther! Qui m’aurait dit la place… Des cris joyeux” (Letter Aria) from Act III of Werther (Massenet)
Conductor: Georges Prêtre
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Recorded: 1963, for EMI.
6) “Mario! Mario! Mario!” from Act I of Tosca (Puccini)
with Franco Corelli (Mario Cavaradossi) & Clifford Harvuot (Angelotti)
Conductor: Fausto Cleva
Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York
Recorded “live” on 19 March 1965 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
7) “Presto, su! Mario!” from Act III of Tosca (Puccini)
Conductor: Carlo Felice Cillario
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Recorded “live” on 24 January 1964 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
11) “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
Piano: Ivor Newton
Recorded: 26 November 1973 at the Royal Festival Hall, London.