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Evening Reading: Love And Friendship Letters From Maria Callas
Evening Reading: Love And Friendship Letters From Maria Callas
Video: Evening Reading: Love And Friendship Letters From Maria Callas
Video: Maria Callas sings "Casta Diva" (Bellini: Norma, Act 1) 2023, February
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MARIA KALLAS, JUNE 1950
MARIA KALLAS, JUNE 1950

1950

Among the regular correspondents of Maria Callas was Leonidas Lanzunis, her godfather and close friend. She confided in him all her secrets, worries, doubts. He is one of the few who knew about her difficult relationship with her mother and older sister. This letter is dated November 1950: behind Callasouge several triumphant seasons, ahead - a meteoric rise and world fame as the best opera singer of her time.

LEONIDAS LANZZUNIS

in English

November 3, 1950

Dearest Leon, … great news. Toscanini invited me to participate in an important performance in memory of Verdi in September 1951 with the opera Macbeth. It's a great honor, isn't it? As you probably know, he couldn't find a soprano on Lady Macbeth until he heard me. Are you glad, dear godfather? I hope to see you soon. True, I thought to spend at least two weeks with my husband, but now, with the new opera and Toscanini, I have no time at all. As for my sister, I tried as best I could, and as a reward I only received insults, so to hell with all this - it is high time for her to work - not for money, but to wake up and understand: real life is not only romance, tears and various pleasant moments. What do you think? As for my mother, I did the best I could for her this year. After all, she also has a husband.If she hadn't spent all of her money on travel, maybe more would have remained for life. Do you remember how four years ago she ordered me to give her $ 750 - I didn't have a penny then, and I had to borrow it from you. Leon, she just sent me a terrible letter … She thinks that she gave birth to me so that I can support her. These words, I'm sorry, are in my throat. Of course, I will try to do everything I can for them, but I will not let them go that far. I also need to secure my own future. I want my baby … Best wishes from my husband to both of you, and I kiss you and Sally very, very hard too. Mariahere she sent me a terrible letter … She thinks that she gave birth to me so that I could contain her. These words, I'm sorry, are in my throat. Of course, I will try to do everything I can for them, but I will not let them go that far. I also need to secure my own future. I want my baby … Best wishes from my husband to both of you, and I kiss you and Sally very, very hard too. Mariahere she sent me a terrible letter … She thinks that she gave birth to me so that I could contain her. These words, I'm sorry, are in my throat. Of course, I will try to do everything I can for them, but I will not let them go that far. I also need to secure my own future. I want my baby … Best wishes from my husband to both of you, and I kiss you and Sally very, very hard too. Maria

1957

One of the most dramatic moments in Maria Callas' career is the trial with former manager Eddie Bagharozi, who signed an exclusive contract with her in 1947. Despite the fact that for several years they did not even communicate, Bagharozi claimed a percentage of all Maria's fees, as well as reimbursement of expenses that he allegedly incurred working for her - only about $ 300 thousand. The letter is addressed to the singer's American lawyer Walter Cummings, who was supposed to settle the claim out of court.

PORTRAIT OF MARIA KALLAS, CHRISTIAN ROBIER, 1965
PORTRAIT OF MARIA KALLAS, CHRISTIAN ROBIER, 1965

“NO, THIS IS NOT A CHILD BABY, NOT A CHILD ON MY SIDE. THIS IS A LETTER OF A WOMAN, Wounded, Suffering, Surviving Much of Everything … "

WALTER CUMMINGS

in English

November 1, 1957

Dear Walter, I just received your telegram and am surprised that you don’t understand how important my concert in Texas is. At the risk of a new scandal, I can in no way postpone it. And I will have to return to Italy at the latest on November 23rd to start rehearsals at La Scala. How can the court not understand what moral damage was caused to me, as well as financial? You already imagine what a scandal follows each of my cancellations due to illness - so imagine what will happen because of the process. It's out of the question! My name, my reputation, my career are at stake. You must bring this to the attention of Judge La Buis and let him know how much damage this trial has already done to me. Can't you understand that this will be my end? For that matter, I would prefer, and it won't be that ruinous, to pay him 10% of all my contracts. Walter,you must understand the seriousness of this situation. You have to convince the judge that we are dealing with blackmailers who should be brought to justice long ago.

I cannot afford new scandals, endlessly postponing or canceling my performances. Love Maria

MARIA KALLAS IN THE COMPANY OF DIRECTOR FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI, TENOR NICOLA FILACURIDI AND CONDUCTOR NICOLA RESCINO AFTER THE PREMIERE OF THE OPERA TOSCA, DALLAS, NOVEMBER 1958
MARIA KALLAS IN THE COMPANY OF DIRECTOR FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI, TENOR NICOLA FILACURIDI AND CONDUCTOR NICOLA RESCINO AFTER THE PREMIERE OF THE OPERA TOSCA, DALLAS, NOVEMBER 1958

1968

Letter of supplication. Callas does not yet know that Aristotle Onassis is serious about marrying former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Their acquaintance began during the lifetime of President Kennedy - in October 1963, when Jacqueline was staying on the yacht Christina.

ARISTOTEL ONASSIS

in English

Paris, January 30, 1968 Aristo, my love, I know how poor this gift for your birthday will become, but I must confess to you - after eight and a half years of our travels together - I am happy to make this confession from the depths of my heart. I'm proud of you. I love you both in body and soul, and now I want only one thing - for you to feel it. God gave me a calling and to reach the top in my difficult career. But most importantly, he gave me you, for which I never cease to thank heaven.

I’m probably too proud to admit it, and yet know that you alone are destined for my breath, mind, dignity, all my tenderness. And if everyday life could read in my soul, then I would see myself there - the strongest, the richest in the whole world. No, this is not childish talk, not childishness on my part. This is a letter from a woman wounded, worn out, who has experienced a lot and gives you feelings so fresh and young that she has never experienced before. Do not forget about this and always try to be gentle with me - the same as in those days when you created the Queen of the world out of me. I am yours - and create whatever you want out of me. Your soul is Maria

Several months remain before the official announcement of the marriage of Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy. Taking advantage of another disagreement, Onassis invites Maria to leave the yacht "Christina". She will not return here again. The singer writes about her experiences to Elvira de Hidalgo, her teacher and close friend.

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CONTINUED IN JANUARY ISSUE HARPE'S BAZAAR.

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