Callas and Fiorilla

During her opening aria, Fiorilla extols the virtues of promiscuity to a group of her friends. Not only does the flirtatious girl have an old husband, she also has a young lover and is soon to pursue the wealthy Turk. No one in Milan needed to be reminded that Callas herself had an old husband and while her fidelity was not in question at the time, she shared other qualities with the volatile Fiorilla. It made for all the more fun.
John Ardoin and Gerald Fitzgerald, Callas
Maria Callas portrayed Fiorilla in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia in Rome in 1950 and at La Scala in 1955.

Her 1954 recording under Gianandrea Gavazzeni, questionable by today’s standards of philology, is nonetheless pure delight.


  1. I really love this side of Callas!

    I wish she had also recorded other comic operas, such as L'Elisir d'Amore. (Her voice wasn't the same in the 70's, but her duet with Di Stefano is so gracious and funny!)

  2. Dear José Luiz: Forgive me for the tardy reply - Blogger doesn't like my laptop or its browser and won't allow me to comment from there. In any event: Yes, though we think of Callas as a tragédienne, her EMI recordings of Rossini's "Turco in Italia" and "Barbiere di Siviglia" are among her very best. Thanks for your comment!