London’s Royal Opera House Launches Maria Callas Exhibition
Celebrating the centenary of the famed Greek soprano Maria Callas, the exhibition will run until November 2023
In 2022, the Greek Ministry of Culture announced that the centennial of Maria Callas’ birth would be celebrated by the UN body in 2023, and titled the UNESCO Maria Callas Anniversary.
To mark the occasion, the Royal Opera House (ROH) has launched the “Callas at Covent Garden” exhibition showcasing career-defining photographs and stories of Callas, plus rare images and anecdotes related to her relationship with the ROH.
The exhibition will also explore the singer’s unique personal style, which continues to influence today’s stage performers, and has been described by the Vogue fashion house, as “iconic.”
The exhibit will be free to view from Monday to Saturday starting at noon, and around performance times on Sundays.
Callas made her debut at Milan’s La Scala in 1950 in an acclaimed performance in Verdi’s Aida. In 1952, she debuted at ROH portraying the titular role in Bellini’s Norma. She also appeared in ROH’s productions of Il trovatore, La traviata, Tosca, and Medea throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
An influential figure in modern opera, a hologram of Callas went on a worldwide tour accompanied by a live orchestra in 2020, and the Greek National Opera recently held a festival dedicated to her.
“Maria Callas was a soprano who is today seen as one of the most remarkable opera singers of the 20th century,” read a proposal from Greece to UNESCO, according to the Greek City Times. “She was named ‘La Divina’ for her great musical talent and spent most of her life between Greece, the United States of America and Italy.
“Leonard Bernstein even called her ‘the Bible of Opera’ and the ‘Opera News’ wrote: ‘Nearly thirty years after her death…she is still one of classical music’s best-selling vocalists.’”
A video of Callas singing “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s opera Norma, can be viewed below.