Opera in Books: Maria Callas – The Woman behind the legend

Part II: “Maria Callas – The Woman behind the legend”, published by Cooper Square Press, New York, 2002

Arianna Huffington’s book on Maria Callas is definitely one that can’t be missed, especially if we consider ourselves fans of “The Tigress”.

Originally published in 1981, the book is considered an official biography due to the fact that it relies on information provided by friends and associates of Maria’s, not to mention the fascinating collection of informal photos and the affectionate and extremely revealing letters written by Callas to her godfather, Leonidas Lantzounis for 27 years and kindly offered to the writer.

Huffington herself is a fellow Greek and she proved to be the ideal person to write about Callas, capturing her in an incredible portrait: the diva and the woman: “The more I grew in reputation, the more frightened I got.”

Critics have even called the book “the finest biography of Callas ever written”, an astounding achievement for such a complex personality. The biography comprises 14 chapters dealing with different time periods, together with a preface and an epilogue and relevant source notes. Huffington’s initial research included all the existing literature on Maria Callas: the books (in many languages), reviews, published interviews. There is also information derived from personal interviews that she carried out, private conversations, as well as Maria’s letters to her godfather, her mother and friends.

Read the entire article here, in the 7th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.


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