Maria Callas would have been 90 today, yet she died 36 years ago.
Her years at La Scala in Milan, where she also recorded most of her ‘studio’ discs, gave the world some of her most memorable performances. Here are some unseen, or rarely seen photos from the La Scala archives.
Photos from the private collection of Carlo Orlandi
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.
Having seen and heard Callas at Chicago Lyric and two Alliance Francaise Concerts in the fifties, she remains the great opera-going experience of my life. Her first Cetra recording, played in a soundproof booth earlier, I found myself blown away with this voice, as if hearing these arias for the first time. Years later, hearing that voice unexpectedly is to be totally drawn in by her unique, artistry – why her recordings are still here to remind us.