Maria Callas

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Maria Callas Trivia

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Spouse: Giovanni Battista Meneghini (21 April 1949 - 1959) (divorced) (

Legendary soprano of Greek origin, `primadonna assoluta` of her generation. (

Opera star (

According to "Greek Fire: The Story Of Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis" by Nicholas Gage, Callas`s and Onassis`s child, a boy, was born and died on 30 March 1960. (

From October 1971 to March 1972, Callas gave a series of master classes to 25 students at The Juilliard School in New York, who auditioned for the opportunity to be critiqued by her. They were open to the public and the sold-out crowds included opera greats Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Tito Gobbi, Plácido Domingo, Grace Bumbry, and Bidu Sayão, actors Lillian Gish and Ben Gazzara, and director Franco Zeffirelli. (

Her ashes were flown to Greece and scattered in the Aegean Sea. (

In 1934, at age 11, Maria won an amateur radio singing contest. Her prize was a Bulova watch. (

In 1957, after a performance in Donizetti`s Anna Bolena, Maria was introduced to Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis at a party given in her honor by Elsa Maxwell. She eventually left her husband for him. Onassis would break off thier relationship to marry Jacqueline Kennedy. (

In 1972, George Moore, president of the Metropolitan Opera board, offered her the job of Artistic Director. She turned it down to stage her comeback recital tour. The 1973 tour was a disater due to Callas`s almost-completely destroyed voice. (

Known for singing both coloratura and spinto soprano roles. (

La Scala artistic director Arturo Toscanini auditioned her for Lady Macbeth in Verdi`s Macbeth and, impressed, sought a production for her. It never happened. (

Sang 100 performances in 1950, the most she gave in a single year. (

Struck by a car when she was 5 years old, and was in a coma for 22 days. (

Was nearsighted and refused to wear her glasses. She also hated to wear her contact lenses. This frustrated many a conductor, who relies on the singer to watch for tempos. (

Rejected invitations to play Norma by director Joseph Losey, and Tosca by director Franco Zeffirelli, and was tempted to do Medea by director Carl Theodor Dreyer - a project that did not materialize - and finally accepted to be Medea in Pier Paolo Pasolini film - when her voice failed her. (

In Milan`s La Scala, in 1962, became noted as Medea for delivering the last sentence, "Ho data tutto a te" (I gave everything to you), not looking at Jason as the libretto imposes, but staring at her audience. (

Was a close friend of Pier Paolo Pasolini. (

Considered by many the greatest operatic soprano (as well as the greatest operatic actress) of the twentieth century. (

Lost almost 80 pounds because she decided that she needed a thinner face and figure to perform on stage (1953). (

Expecting that Aristotle Onassis would marry her, she took Greek citizenship (1966). (

Born to George Kalogeropoulos and his wife Evangelia "Litsa" Dimitriadou, she had a sister, Yakinthi (born in 1917, called Jackie), and a brother, Vasilis (born in 1920, died in 1922). (

Was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2007). (

After the death of their son Vassilis from meningitis in 1922, Maria's father George decided to move to the United States, when his wife got pregnant again. In 1929, George set up a pharmacy in a Greek quarter of Manhattan and the Kalogeropoulos family legally changed their name to Callas to make it more manageable. However, Maria's parents finally separate, so Maria, her sister and her mother returned to Athens in 1937. (

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