Words of Wisdom:

"It's easy for an angel to become a devil, but impossible for a devil to become an angel." - Junerock

Callas Review

  • Date Submitted: 06/10/2011 08:50 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50 
  • Words: 653
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The Diva
How does the the newspaper review help us to understand Callas's reputation as Diva?

The newspaper article by C. Cassidy ( Chicago Tribune, Cassidy.C. 1956- all quotes within are from this source) starts off immediately by telling the reader to take the rumour of Callas being an “actress but not much of the singer” with “a large grain of salt”. This gives an aura of controversy about her in the first line of the review of her performance, that she is one of the modern Opera world's most talked about female singers. That C. Cassidy presumes that the reader will know of her, and her supposed laboured singing at the Metropolitan, shows her fame and reputation in the public.

Cassidy follows this up by making the point that even a flawed Callas is of such “superlative quality” she would be “incomparable in our time”. She seems to exuded class and quality through the reviewers words, even when he is criticising her “dryness” and its effects on her top notes. This mystical power she has over the audience, and especially C. Cassidy, promotes Callas as more than just a singer to be reviewed, but a performer to be appreciated by all the senses, not just the ears.

As Elaine Moohan says  

the stereotypical diva in the classical music world is someone of supreme talent, with great vocal facility and an ability to convey the emotional nuances of the music to her audience (OU reputations, 2008, p.163),

Cassidy talks about this ability to convey the emotional nuances to the audience with his descriptions of her “lovely voice that can command an ensemble but because of the mystery never drowns other voices out”

She fits the stereotypical mould of a Diva by her life imitating her art of portraying tragic figures on stage. Her rise to fame, massive weight loss in 1954 and leaving her partner for one of the richest men in the world, Aristotle Onassis, a year after this review. All for it to have gone horribly wrong by 1977, when she died alone without the...

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