My Personal Top 10 of Female Singers – No 1
…in no particular order & with my favorite recording…
Number One: Maria Callas
Maria Callas 1923-1977
I cannot listen to Callas without getting goosebumps. Not surprisingly, Leonard Bernstein called her “the Bible of Opera”and her influence is so enduring that, in 2006, Opera News wrote of her: “Nearly thirty years after her death, she’s still the definition of the diva as artist-and still one of classical music’s best-selling vocalists.”
I could write pages and pages about “La Callas’ but I have chosen two of my favorite area’s: “Vissi d’Arte” (click on link to listen) from the opera “Tosca” by Puccini. I hesitate between two recordings, I will let you decide:
The 1953 famous recording at La Scala in Milan
The fully remastered 1964 recording, conducted by George Pretre
and the aria “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” (click link to listen) from “La Wally” an opera composed by Alfredo Catalani, Tom Ford used this aria in his film “A Single Man“.
Record La Divina
A lesser know fact is that the only film Callas ever played in was: “Medea” by the controversial Italian film director Pier Paolo Passolini.
She looks amazing and she became close friends with Pasolini:
Watch this amazing interview with Callas and Pasolini about “Medea” from 1969 on the BBC.
My No.1 as well. The next time you are in New York we have to trade Callas stories!