Maria Callas : an intimate biography

by Edwards, Anne, 1927-

Format: Print Book 2001
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ML420.C18 E38 2001x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  ML420.C18 E38 2001x
Northland Public Library Biography B CALLAS
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B CALLAS
Maria Callas continues to mesmerize us twenty years after her death, not only because she was indisputably the greatest opera diva of the 20th century, but also because both her life and death were shrouded in a Machiavellian web of scandal, mystery and deception. Now Anne Edwards, well known for her revealing and insightful biographies of some of the world's most noted women, tells the intimate story of Maria Callas-her loves, her life, and her music, revealing the true woman behind the headlines, gossip and speculation.The second daughter of Greek immigrant parents, Maria found herself in the grasp of an overwhelmingly ambitious mother who took her away from her native New York and the father she loved, to a Greece on the eve of the Second World War. From there, we learn of the hardships, loves and triumphs Maria experienced in her professional and personal life. We are introduced to the men who marked Callas forever-Luchino Visconti, the brilliant homosexual director who she loved hopelessly, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, the husband thirty years her senior who used her for his own ambitions, as had her mother, and Aristotle Onassis, who put an end to their historic love affair by discarding her for the widowed Jacqueline Kennedy. Throughout her life, Callas waged a constant battle with her weight, a battle she eventually won, transforming herself from an ugly duckling into the slim and glamorous diva who transformed opera forever, whose recordings are legend, and whose life is the stuff ofwhich tabloids are made.Anne Edwards goes deeper than previous biographies of Maria Callas have dared. She draws upon intensive research to refute the story of Callas's "mystery child" by Onassis, and she reveals the true circumstances of the years preceding Callas's death, including the deception perpetrated by her close and trusted friend. As in her portraits of other brilliant, star-crossed women, Edwards brings Maria Callas-the intimate Callas-alive.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Perhaps no other twentieth-century opera singer is more easily recognized, more popular, or more admired than Maria Callas. Edwards captures Callas as the subtitle claims--intimately. Born into an impoverished Greek immigrant family newly arrived in New York City, pushed by a domineering mother with middle-class pretensions and dreams of greatness for her daughters, Callas quickly excelled at singing and launched a career in Europe and the U.S. Overweight early in life, she was also temperamental. Yet she confidently proved her talent, triumphed over and over, and forever changed how opera is sung, acted, and appreciated. Eventually, she found love, too, first with a wealthy, middle-aged Italian, then with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. A nervous breakdown presaged her untimely death. Her tumultuous life could be the subject of an opera, and Edwards negotiates it with the skill and ease of a seasoned conductor. --Michael Spinella"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Edwards (Katharine Hepburn), author of several biographies of iconic women, including Princess Di and Judy Garland, delivers a fresh, highly engrossing take on one of history's most legendary divas. Even those with little interest in opera or celebrity will be swept into this tale of an "awkward, fat girl" who became the "slim, lionized diva who... changed the face of opera forever." While there are more than 30 biographies of Callas (1923-1977), Edwards's perhaps most handily pierces fable with fact. (Most notably, she produces evidence refuting Nicholas Gage's claim in his recent Greek Fire that Callas had and lost a son by Onassis.) Edwards chronicles Callas's life from her humble beginnings as a pharmacist's daughter in Astoria, Queens, New York, to formal music training in war-torn Greece to phenomenal triumph in the world's most renowned opera houses. She also provides descriptions of opera plots, costumes and sceneries, and admirably captures the economics, passions and egos that drove the major players in Callas's life, including her most famous paramour, Aristotle Onassis, and her publicity-seeking, self-martyring mother. "There was something of Norma Desmond and Sunset Boulevard about Maria's life after Onassis and her voice died," Edwards writes, describing Callas's lonely final years. Edwards recounts, too, the star's death at 53, her dispiriting funeral ("A high wind rose just as the ashes were being offered to the blustery sea, and some of them flew back and landed on the clothes of the mourners") and the grifters who swooped in to feed on Callas's financial remains. Edwards's riveting book is sure to prompt new interest in Callas's dramatic life. Two 8-page b&w photo inserts. Agent, Mitch Douglas. (Aug. 20) Forecast: Certain to lure Callas cultists, but its appeal is likely to be much wider; several of Edwards's biographies have been bestsellers, and this one, too, has strong commercial potential. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Callas, Maria, -- 1923-1977.
Sopranos (Singers) -- Biography.
Publisher New York :St. Martin's Press,2001
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Other Titles Maria Callas
Language English
Notes First published in Great Britain under the title Callas by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Description viii, 342 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-331) and index.
ISBN 0312269862 :
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