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GreeceCulture'I am not Maria - I am Callas: Her real life and...

‘I am not Maria – I am Callas: Her real life and an eon of myths’, a new book by journalist Michalis Dimitriou

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A new book on Maria Callas (1923-1977), one of the greatest opera singers, has been published in Greek in the year of the diva’s birth centennial, providing a portrait based on interviews and source material of the ‘real Maria’.

The book, “I am not Maria – I am Callas: Her real life and an eon of myths” was written by journalist Michalis Dimitriou, who aims to deconstruct the false media reports and tales surrounding Maria Callas, as reported in the popular press, about “dying early becuase of her desparate love for Onassis” and sacrificing herself for her stage persona, “paying for this in ineffable, deadly loneliness”. He also debunks the myths that she maintained a state of war with her mother and sister, and that she spent the last part of her life “in mourning Onassis and her lost glory.”

The book, published by Bell, focuses on Callas’ last Greek summer, which she spent in Chalkidiki with pianist Vasso Devetzi and other friends as a guest of Kostas Pylarinos, who heads the Maria Callas Scholarship Foundation.

Material for the book is based on a rare archive amassed of primary sources in Greece and foreign mass media (films, television programs, books), personal archives, and interviews with close friends such as Christos Lambrakis, Kostas Pylarinos, Michalis Kyriakidis, Ada Madikian, Stelios Papadimitriou, Tyrfon Koutalidis, Andreas Potamianos, Michael Cacoyannis, Nikolaous Louros, and others. The book also refers to other countries beyond Italy and Greece, such as all of western Europe, Latin America, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan.

Dimitriou also researches the fact that Maria Callas was not received well in Greece, and was, ironically, heavily criticized by the newspapers ‘Ta Nea’ and ‘To Vima’, founded by Dimitris Lambrakis, while his son Christos Lambrakis, who also led the efforts to build the Athens Concert Hall, was a close friend of hers.

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Maria Callas lived an exciting life full of ups and downs, rejections, and bitter moments, but also periods of brilliant recognition, glory and deep professional satisfaction, long-term friendships, and emotional heights. She always faced every adversity and trying times with great fortitude, and remained ‘the amazing Callas’, never becoming miserly toward herself or her friends, who were outstanding professionals in their sectors and loyal throughout.

The book, published by Bell, focuses on Callas’ last Greek summer, which she spent in Chalkidiki with pianist Vasso Devetzi and other friends as a guest of Kostas Pylarinos, who heads the Maria Callas Scholarship Foundation.

The book is dedicated to the late publisher Christos Lambrakis and is prefaced by Pylarinos, Callas’ oldest friend since the 60s.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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