Maria Callas: Sacred Monster

by Stelios Galatopoulos

April 15, 1999 | Hardcover |

Not yet rated | write a review

"I am not an angel and do not pretend to be. That is not one of my roles. But I am not the devil, either. I am a woman and a serious artist, and I would like so to be judged."

 -- Maria Callas

This is the authoritative biography of one of the great icons of the century, Maria Callas, the most brilliant and controversial singer-actress of modern times. Written by a music scholar, opera critic, and, toward the end of Callas' life, a close friend, Sacred Monster is an account of the singer's triumphant and tumultuous public career and her private life. "There are two people in me, Maria and Callas....Their difference is only that Callas is a celebrity," she remarked. The celebrity Callas defined an age of opera. The private Callas is a source of lasting fascination.

Sacred Monster is not only the definitive portrait of one of the greatest artists of the century, it corrects the many misguided books about Callas that have appeared since her death in 1977 at the age of fifty-three. Galatopoulos writes about Callas objectively -- recognizing her flaws, her temperament, and the signs of premature vocal deterioration. He re-creates the triumph of intelligence, hard work, musical talent, grit, and fierceness that enabled Callas to rise to superstardom. He recounts her sometimes stormy relationships with the conductors, managers, and fellow stars, and with her family, husband, and lover.

Galatopoulos attended more than a hundred of Callas' performances and he describes not only the brilliance of her many triumphs, the disappointments of her setbacks, and the poignance of her premature decline, but also her legacy, which resides in her continuing influence and her extensive and valuable discography. Callas chose to share many of her most frank judgments about her professional problems with Galatopoulos. Perhaps most dramatically, in this book, which might almost be called "Callas Has the Last Word," Galatopoulos sets straight the soap opera portrait some have drawn of a shattered and reclusive woman abandoned by her lover, Aristotle Onassis. In fact, Callas and Onassis resumed their friendship shortly after his marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy. This portrait of Callas shows her in retirement every bit as forceful and engaged as she was on stage.

Maria Callas: Sacred Monster is lavishly illustrated. One hundred pages of photographs show Callas' roles in a visual documentary of the period 1947 to 1965, a truly golden age of opera. Many of the images have never before been published. A complete survey of Callas' recordings and a list of her performances are also included.

Format: Hardcover

Published: April 15, 1999

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684859858

ISBN - 13: 9780684859859

Found in: Composers and Musicians

Out of stock Sorry, this item has sold out and may be re-stocked in the future.

Cart

All available formats:

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Maria Callas: Sacred Monster

Maria Callas: Sacred Monster

by Stelios Galatopoulos

Format: Hardcover

Published: April 15, 1999

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684859858

ISBN - 13: 9780684859859

Read from the Book

From Chapter Seventeen: Remembrance of Times Past The old saying that familiarity breeds contempt was very much at the back of my mind. You see, before I met Ari I had not really experienced lovers' tiffs and being by nature rather shy and introverted (when I am not on the stage), I was losing my sense of humour, not that I have much. When you can't laugh at yourself life becomes dreary. It took time, but once I understood this other side of his character, by and large I accepted it, even though in part I still disapproved of it. Ari's upbringing had been unusual. His family were well off and cultured and although Greek, quite prominent in Turkish society until the catastrophe of Smyrna. As a young man he had seen and known suffering and used his wits to survive. Whereas he matured as an outstanding businessman, in some other ways, in personal relationships, he did not -- relatively speaking. He liked to tease, but if you dared pull his leg in an effort to fish for compliments he would sometimes retaliate like a tiresome schoolboy. At a dinner party, I think it was at Maxim's, while we were having a pleasant time and everybody seemed to be in a very jovial mood, one of our closest and most likeable friends, a lady, Maggie van Zuylen, passed a teasing remark, saying 'You lovebirds, I am sure you make love often,' or words to this effect. 'We never do,' I commented, smiling and winking at Aristo. His reaction was incredible. Abruptly, but fortunately in Greek, he declared that
read more read less

From the Publisher

"I am not an angel and do not pretend to be. That is not one of my roles. But I am not the devil, either. I am a woman and a serious artist, and I would like so to be judged."

 -- Maria Callas

This is the authoritative biography of one of the great icons of the century, Maria Callas, the most brilliant and controversial singer-actress of modern times. Written by a music scholar, opera critic, and, toward the end of Callas' life, a close friend, Sacred Monster is an account of the singer's triumphant and tumultuous public career and her private life. "There are two people in me, Maria and Callas....Their difference is only that Callas is a celebrity," she remarked. The celebrity Callas defined an age of opera. The private Callas is a source of lasting fascination.

Sacred Monster is not only the definitive portrait of one of the greatest artists of the century, it corrects the many misguided books about Callas that have appeared since her death in 1977 at the age of fifty-three. Galatopoulos writes about Callas objectively -- recognizing her flaws, her temperament, and the signs of premature vocal deterioration. He re-creates the triumph of intelligence, hard work, musical talent, grit, and fierceness that enabled Callas to rise to superstardom. He recounts her sometimes stormy relationships with the conductors, managers, and fellow stars, and with her family, husband, and lover.

Galatopoulos attended more than a hundred of Callas' performances and he describes not only the brilliance of her many triumphs, the disappointments of her setbacks, and the poignance of her premature decline, but also her legacy, which resides in her continuing influence and her extensive and valuable discography. Callas chose to share many of her most frank judgments about her professional problems with Galatopoulos. Perhaps most dramatically, in this book, which might almost be called "Callas Has the Last Word," Galatopoulos sets straight the soap opera portrait some have drawn of a shattered and reclusive woman abandoned by her lover, Aristotle Onassis. In fact, Callas and Onassis resumed their friendship shortly after his marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy. This portrait of Callas shows her in retirement every bit as forceful and engaged as she was on stage.

Maria Callas: Sacred Monster is lavishly illustrated. One hundred pages of photographs show Callas' roles in a visual documentary of the period 1947 to 1965, a truly golden age of opera. Many of the images have never before been published. A complete survey of Callas' recordings and a list of her performances are also included.

Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart