Happy Birthday, Maria Callas! Maria, one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of all time, would have turned 90 years old today. She was born Maria Anna Sophie Cecilia Kalogeropoulos in NYC to parents George and Evangelia Kalogeropoulos. Her parents had just emigrated from Greece to New York in August of that year! Her father shortened her last name to Callas when she was 6 years old. She began piano lessons at 9 years old and before she was even 16 years old she was accepted into the National Conservatory in Athens. At age 18, she made her professional operatic debut as Beatrice in Boccacio!
Here are 2 incredible Maria Callas videos to watch in her honor today:
1. “Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen- I love this performance from Maria’s April 1962 concert at Covent Garden! You’ll recognize this melody right away.
2. “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi – This 1973 video gives me goosebumps. Although many criticized her voice later in her career, I find this performance (filmed just a few years before her death at her “London Farewell Concert”) to be powerful and incredibly moving.
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