Is maria callas the best opera singer ever – page 4 electricity billy elliot instrumental


I would agree with this. I remember when I was first getting into opera and discovered her. I would go to the Barnes & Noble in downtown Minneapolis. They had a great and huge classical music section. One of the workers there was very knowledgeable and assisted me in picking recordings – he had never done me wrong. When I went to buy Carmen, I wanted the Solti recording. He insisted I buy Callas. The only reason I wanted the Solti was it was on 3 cds (so I thought it more complete, haha) and I had other Solti recordings. I had never heard of Callas at the point. He said, "you have never, nor will you, ever hear anything like her." He absolutely refused to sell me any other Carmen, so I relented and bought the Callas.

I will never forget my reaction when I heard her for the first time. Confusion – is this a beautiful voice, or an ugly voice? But it was riveting nonetheless and so distinctive. You cannot mistake her for anyone else, nor can you mistake anyone else for her. I became a huge fan of hers instantly. She introduced me, and many others, to works we may never venture towards.

Her life is also, in itself, a tragedy, which I think people can relate to and sympathize with, from her very strained relationship with her mother, to Onasis leaving her for Jackie Kennedy, to losing her voice, to dying alone. I once read a book about her, that talked extensively about the last years of her life. Apparently, she used to cry to her servants and beg them to stay on their days off because she didn’t want to be alone. She also reportedly said, "Everyday, thank God one day less!" Very sad, indeed.That’s a great story (Barnes & Noble and Carmen). It was the Berlin Lucia that got me. When I first heard her I couldn’t understand what it was people liked about her. Then I listened to the 1953 Tosca and there were moments that were like a volt of electricity going through me. In particular when she’s telling Cavaradossi how she murdered Scarpia. She had these colours in her voice that were astounding.

She didn’t have poor diction by any stretch of the imagination. But mention of diction and words reminds me of something I’ve always noticed: in her first studio recording of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (the one with Tullio Serafin conducting) she mispronounces the word " fonte" ("fountain"), in the first lines of the aria "Regnava nel silenzio," as " fronte" (which means "forehead," I believe). I just always thought that was a curious slip-up.I remember that too. At one point that 1953 Lucia was the only one I listened to and I spent a long time thinking it was actually "fronte" not "fonte" "Colpia la fronte un pallido raggio di tetra luna" still makes sense though.

That has nothing to do with her diction though. Sometimes she forgets words and substitutes them with words that make perfect sense or are synonyms like in La Luce Langue in the almighty 1952 Macbeth she says "Oh volutta del trono" instead of "soglio" and "Son io nelle mie stanze" instead of "mie case" in the 1959 Hamburg recital Pirata..Etc This only proves how professional and proficient in Italian she was.