A report on Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland

Callas in 1958
Sutherland in 1975
The apartment house in Athens where Callas lived from 1937 to 1945
Sutherland in 1962
The Villa in Sirmione where Callas lived with Giovanni Battista Meneghini between 1950 and 1959
Joan Sutherland in 1990
Callas's range in performance (highest and lowest notes both shown in red): from F-sharp below the Middle C (green) to E-natural above the High C (blue)
Callas acknowledges applause in 1959 at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
Callas's rival, Renata Tebaldi, 1961
Tito Gobbi, 1970
Callas during her final tour in Amsterdam in 1973
Aristotle Onassis, who had an affair with Callas before he married Jackie Kennedy
The last residence of Maria Callas, in Paris
Portrait of Callas (2004), by Oleg Karuvits
Maria Callas with her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini in 1957
Callas getting ready with the help of Luchino Visconti in Milan, 1957
Maria Callas as Giulia in the Opera "La Vestale", by Gaspare Spontini, 1954
Churchill with Maria Callas on Onassis' yacht in the late 50s

She was engaged by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as a utility soprano, and made her debut there on 28 October 1952, as the First Lady in The Magic Flute, followed in November by a few performances as Clotilde in Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma, with Maria Callas as Norma.

- Joan Sutherland

In 1952, she made her London debut at the Royal Opera House in Norma with veteran mezzo-soprano Ebe Stignani as Adalgisa, a performance which survives on record and also features the young Joan Sutherland in the small role of Clotilde.

- Maria Callas
Callas in 1958

11 related topics with Alpha

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Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center

Metropolitan Opera

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American opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, currently situated on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

American opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, currently situated on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center
Giulio Gatti-Casazza
Gatti-Casazza's last week at the Met (March 22–29, 1935)
Artur Bodanzky at the Metropolitan Opera in 1915
Otto Hermann Kahn in Berlin, 1931
Metropolitan Opera House in 1905
The new Met Opera House
Staircase

Other celebrated singers who debuted at the Met during Bing's tenure include: Roberta Peters, Victoria de los Ángeles, Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas, who had a bitter falling out with Bing over repertoire,, Birgit Nilsson, Joan Sutherland, Régine Crespin, Mirella Freni, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballé, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Anna Moffo, James McCracken, Carlo Bergonzi, Franco Corelli, Alfredo Kraus, Plácido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Luciano Pavarotti, Jon Vickers, Tito Gobbi, Sherrill Milnes, and Cesare Siepi.

Tullio Serafin

Tullio Serafin

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Italian conductor and former Musical Director at La Scala.

Italian conductor and former Musical Director at La Scala.

Tullio Serafin
Tullio Serafin plaque (Rottanova, Cavarzere)

He had an unparalleled reputation as a coach of young opera singers and famously harnessed and developed both Renata Tebaldi's and Maria Callas's considerable talents.

During his long career he helped further the careers of many important singers, including Rosa Ponselle, Magda Olivero, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi, and most notably Maria Callas, with whom he collaborated on many recordings.

Domenico Donzelli, Giuditta Pasta,
and Giulia Grisi (original cast)

Norma (opera)

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Tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after the play Norma, ou L'infanticide by Alexandre Soumet.

Tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after the play Norma, ou L'infanticide by Alexandre Soumet.

Domenico Donzelli, Giuditta Pasta,
and Giulia Grisi (original cast)
Librettist Felice Romani
Giuditta Pasta for whom the role of Norma was created
Poster advertising the 1831 premiere
Domenico Donzelli sang Pollione
Giulia Grisi sang Adalgisa
Vincenzo Negrini sang Oroveso
Giulia Grisi dressed as Norma. In 1831, she also sang the role of Adalgisa
Act 2 finale, Luigi Lablache as Oroveso, Giulia Grisi (as Norma), Dominique Conti as Pollione. Her Majesty's Theatre, London, 1843
Alessandro Sanquirico's set design for act 1, scene 2, for the original production
Drawing for Norma (undated)

Notable exponents of the title role in the post-war period have been Maria Callas, Leyla Gencer, Joan Sutherland, and Montserrat Caballé.

Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani as Lucia in the London premiere in 1838

Lucia di Lammermoor

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Dramma tragico in three acts by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti.

Dramma tragico in three acts by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti.

Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani as Lucia in the London premiere in 1838
Disegno per copertina di libretto, drawing for Lucia di Lammermoor (1954).
Lammermuir Hills, Scotland
Set design for act 3, scene 3 by Francesco Bagnara, circa 1844 (Civica Raccolta Stampe Bertarelli Milan)
A caricature of the "Lucia Sextet", circa 1900 (Civica Raccolta Stampe Bertarelli Milan)

After World War II, a number of sopranos were instrumental in giving new life to the opera, including Maria Callas (with performances from 1954 at La Scala and Berlin in 1955 under Herbert von Karajan) and Dame Joan Sutherland (with 1959 and 1960 performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden).

Bel canto–era composer Gioachino Rossini

Bel canto

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Term with several meanings that relate to Italian singing.

Term with several meanings that relate to Italian singing.

Bel canto–era composer Gioachino Rossini
Hand-written note by contralto Marietta Alboni about the decay of bel canto in the late 19th century. The French text reads: "The art of singing is going, and it will only revert with the sole real music of the future: that of Rossini. Paris, 8 February 1881." (signature)
Mathilde Marchesi (1821–1913), a leading Paris-based teacher of bel canto sopranos

That situation changed significantly after World War II with the advent of a group of enterprising orchestral conductors and the emergence of a fresh generation of singers such as Montserrat Caballé, Maria Callas, Leyla Gencer, Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills and Marilyn Horne, who had acquired bel canto techniques.

The Hall of Arms (act 1, scene 3) in the original 1835 production

I puritani

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1835 opera by Vincenzo Bellini.

1835 opera by Vincenzo Bellini.

The Hall of Arms (act 1, scene 3) in the original 1835 production
Vincenzo Bellini
Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso 1832, by Francesco Hayez (detail)
In 1829 the Théâtre-Italien was performing in the first Salle Favart
Librettist Carlo Pepoli
Disegno per copertina di libretto, drawing for I Puritani (undated).
Rubini as Arturo in I puritani, Paris 1835
Grisi and Lablache in I puritani, King's Theatre, London, 1835
Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti, 1976 performance at the Metropolitan Opera
Antonio Tamburini sang Riccardo – Lithography by Josef Kriehuber
An excerpt from "Credeasi, misera", act 3. The notes highlighted (above the high C) are among the highest demanded in tenor operatic repertoire and are usually sung falsetto or altogether transposed.

Various performances are reported to have taken place in 1921, 1933, 1935, and 1949 in different European cities, but it was not until 1955 in Chicago that Puritani re-appeared in America with Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano in the major roles.

The 1960s saw a variety of performances in the years between 1960 (Glyndebourne Festival with Joan Sutherland which was recorded) and 1969 when Weinstock's account ends.

The sleepwalker in act 2, sc. 2,
(William de Leftwich Dodge, 1899)

La sonnambula

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Opera semiseria in two acts, with music in the bel canto tradition by Vincenzo Bellini set to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani, based on a scenario for a ballet-pantomime written by Eugène Scribe and choreographed by Jean-Pierre Aumer called La somnambule, ou L'arrivée d'un nouveau seigneur.

Opera semiseria in two acts, with music in the bel canto tradition by Vincenzo Bellini set to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani, based on a scenario for a ballet-pantomime written by Eugène Scribe and choreographed by Jean-Pierre Aumer called La somnambule, ou L'arrivée d'un nouveau seigneur.

The sleepwalker in act 2, sc. 2,
(William de Leftwich Dodge, 1899)
Ah! non credea mirarti / Sì presto estinto, o fiore
("I did not believe you would fade so soon, oh flower").
This text from act 2, scene 2, of La sonnambula appears on Bellini's tomb in Catania
Vincenzo Bellini
by Natale Schiavoni
Giuditta Pasta as Amina, May 1831 premiere
Tenor Giovanni
Battista Rubini
sang Elvino
Maria Malibran as Amina – London 1833
Jenny Lind in La sonnambula, 1840s
Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani as Amina by Karl Bryullov, 1834
Elisa Taccani, who created the role of Lisa, by Giuseppe Cornienti
Disegno per copertina di libretto, drawing for La sonnambula (1954).
Alessandro Sanquirico's set design for act 2 scene 1
Alessandro Sanquirico's set design for the act. 2 scene 2 sleepwalking scene for the premiere production

The opera was rescued from the ornamental excesses and misrepresentations more similar to the baroque style than the bel canto of Bellini when it was sung by Maria Callas in the now-famous 1955 production by Luchino Visconti at La Scala.

Contributing to the revivals were Joan Sutherland's taking the role of Amina at Covent Garden in 1961 and at the Metropolitan Opera in 1963, where the role become one of her most significant successes.

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Franco Corelli

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Italian tenor who had a major international opera career between 1951 and 1976.

Italian tenor who had a major international opera career between 1951 and 1976.

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Later that season he sang Pollione in Bellini's Norma opposite Maria Callas in the title role.

He returned to La Scala in 1962, for a revival of Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, opposite Joan Sutherland, and that same year appeared as Manrico in a lauded production of Il trovatore at the Salzburg Festival under Herbert von Karajan and opposite Leontyne Price, Giulietta Simionato, and Ettore Bastianini.

Zeffirelli in 2008

Franco Zeffirelli

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Italian director and producer of operas, films and television.

Italian director and producer of operas, films and television.

Zeffirelli in 2008
Zeffirelli with Olivia Hussey while filming Romeo and Juliet in 1967

He became a friend of Maria Callas and they worked together on a La traviata in Dallas, Texas, in 1958.

Zeffirelli also collaborated with Joan Sutherland, designing and directing her performances of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959.

The soprano around 1950

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

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German-born Austro-British soprano.

German-born Austro-British soprano.

The soprano around 1950
Schwarzkopf as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni
Schwarzkopf as the Marschallin in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier
Grave in Zumikon
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Amsterdam, 1961)

Don Giovanni (Carlo Maria Giulini, Philharmonia Orchestra) (Warner Classics 1959) with Joan Sutherland as Donna Anna.

Turandot as Liù (Tullio Serafin, La Scala Orchestra; 1957 EMI Classics) Callas as Turandot