After 25 years within the making, Athens, the capital of Greece, unveiled a groundbreaking museum on Thursday devoted to the long-lasting soprano Maria Callas. This museum is touted because the world’s first of its form, paying tribute to the legendary singer’s legacy.
Designed to mark the centenary of her start, the museum showcases over 1,300 reveals, together with Callas’s college scrapbook, inscribed books and sheet music, opera clothes and pictures, organizers stated.
“The nice diva, Maria Callas, returns residence,” Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis stated Wednesday at a media tour of the venue.
“We’re very pleased with this primary museum that mixes expertise and lived expertise,” he stated.
A customer seems to be at a bust depicting the diva Maria Callas, through the official opening of the Maria Callas Museum in Central Athens, Greece, Oct. 25, 2023.
A listed four-story constructing from the Twenties that beforehand housed a resort, the custard-colored museum close to central Syntagma Sq. took over a decade to finish at a value of 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million).
The gathering started 24 years in the past when town acquired some Callas objects at a Paris public sale.
“It is a museum for all of the senses,” stated Konstantinos Dedes, one of many venture supervisors.
The tour begins on the second ground, the place guests step onto a forest scene as Callas – silhouetted on a stage on the again wall – sings an aria from Bellini’s opera Norma.
It was one of many defining performances of an illustrious profession spanning greater than three many years, which noticed Callas dubbed “La Divina” – the divine.
One other room recreates the night time view from the diva’s balcony in Paris, full with flowing curtains.
There’s additionally a recording of Callas giving a masterclass on the Juilliard Faculty of Music in New York within the early Seventies.
Attire’ equipment of the late soprano Maria Callas exhibited throughout a press view of the brand new Maria Callas museum in Athens, Greece, Oct. 25, 2023. (EPA Photograph)
‘Do not overact’
“You do not have to overact,” she sternly tells college students, urging them to utilize their faces and eyes.
Among the many assortment’s prime reveals are the soprano’s private picture album, her backstage mirror, and her prescription glasses, which she not often wore in public.
There are additionally monogrammed matchbooks given to her by airways and lodges on her last world tour in 1973-74 and the menu of the fateful Venice celebration in 1957 the place Callas met Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
She divorced her Italian industrialist husband Giovanni Meneghini for Onassis, who later left her to marry former U.S. First Girl Jackie Kennedy.
Dozens of Greek establishments and personal collectors, amongst them the late artists Alekos Fassianos, Dimitris Mytaras and Panayiotis Tetsis, have made contributions to the brand new museum, town stated.
A few of the objects have been donated by Milan’s La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Enviornment di Verona, the place Callas made her Italian debut in 1947, it stated.
“We aimed to allure those that do not know (Callas) and do not hearken to opera … and assist them perceive what made her stand out,” the museum’s exhibition designer Erato Koutsoudaki advised Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Tickets price 10 euros.
Former Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, speaks to journalists and members of the general public through the official opening of the Maria Callas Museum in Central Athens, Greece, Oct. 25, 2023. (AFP Photograph)
Born in New York to Greek emigre dad and mom in 1923, Sophia Cecilia Anna Maria Kalogeropoulos lived in Athens from 1937 to 1945 after her dad and mom separated.
“As quickly as my mom realized my vocal qualities, she determined to show me into a toddler prodigy,” Callas later wrote. “However youngster prodigies by no means have an actual, real childhood.”
The constructing in Athens the place Callas briefly lived along with her mom and sister is to develop into a music academy, Bakoyannis stated Wednesday.
After attending singing courses on the Nationwide Conservatory, she made her skilled debut with the Royal Opera of Athens in 1941.
Callas retired after a last stage look in Sapporo, Japan, in 1974. She died in Paris of a coronary heart assault in 1977, aged 53.
Her ashes had been scattered within the Aegean Sea two years later.
A biopic of Callas starring Angelina Jolie with Emmy-award winner actor Haluk Bilginer, titled “Maria,” by Pablo Larrain, is because of be launched subsequent yr.