Callas [Kalogeropoulou], (Cecilia Sophia Anna) Maria
- Desmond Shawe-Taylor
(b New York, Dec 2, 1923; d Paris, Sept 16, 1977). Greek soprano. She was American by birth and early upbringing, and Italian by career and by marriage to G.B. Meneghini, whose surname she incorporated with her own during the period of her marriage (1949–59). In 1937 she left the USA for Greece and in 1940 became a pupil of the well-known soprano Elvira de Hidalgo at the Athens Conservatory. Two years later she sang Tosca in Athens (27 August 1942), and went on to appear, in 1944, as Santuzza, Marta (in d’Albert’s Tiefland), and Leonore (Fidelio). Returning to New York with her parents in 1945, she was heard by former tenor Giovanni Zenatello, who engaged her for Ponchielli’s La Gioconda in Verona. This successful appearance (2 August 1947) under Serafin was the start of her real career and she was soon in demand in Italian theatres for such heavy roles as Aida, Turandot, Isolde, Kundry and Brünnhilde. A rare versatility was shown in Venice in ...