From: Greece, Italy, United States: New York
Fields: Music Key Words/Phrases: operatic soprano
Callas, Maria, professional name of Maria Anna Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulos (1923-77), American operatic soprano, the preeminent prima donna of her day, and the first modern soprano to revive forgotten operas of the bel canto repertoire. Born in New York City, she moved to Athens at age 13, making her first major appearance there in 1941 as Tosca. Callas began her career in dramatic roles such as Isolde, Brunnhilde, and Aida. After 1949, encouraged at the La Scala opera by her mentor, the Italian conductor Tullio Serafin, she turned toward coloratura bel canto roles; they included Norma, Lucia di Lammermoor, and many roles in long-unperformed operas. Praised for the distinctive color of her voice, her dramatic presence, and her careful musicianship, she sang principally at La Scala, the Rome and Paris operas, Covent Garden in London, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
"Callas, Maria" Microsoft Encarta.
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