Callas and Omero Lengrini II

Before coming down with the plague, I had promised an update to my first Omero Lengrini post.

Some of this information comes to me from a Callas scholar based in Europe, to whom I express my sincere gratitude.

Omero Lengrini’s complete birth certificate has been published, and a scan is available here. According to my source, the certificate indicates that the baby’s mother was “a woman who does not consent to be identified,” as Nicholas Gage reports. “Mario” (whose family name is illegible) is listed as a witness, not as the baby’s father.

I find the scan difficult to read and will not comment further on the birth certificate until I have had a chance to examine it directly.

The article in which the birth certificate is published was written by a Mr. Karl H. van Zoggel, who accepts Gage’s story of Callas’s “secret son,” albeit with so many changes, qualifications, and fishy sources (clinic staff who vouch for Callas’s undocumented presence some forty years after the fact) as to strain credulity.

Mr. van Zoggel also cites “very reliable” sources (unwilling to go on the record, it seems) who indicate that Omero Lengrini was buried in the Civico Cimitero of Bresso—while admitting, “Nevertheless, the burial register and documents at the cemetery do not state any inclusion of a baby in April 1960.”

I suspect that these “very reliable” sources are the same ones who have plastered the supposed fact of the Bresso burial all over the Italian press in recent years. (Some mention a cemetery in Bruzzano; Bresso, as I understand it, is part of Bruzzano, so this may be a case of two names for the same place.) What no one so far has explained is: Why, if Omero was her son, did Callas not have his remains moved when she sold her villa on via Buonarroti and took up residence in Paris in the early 1960s?

All this said, going back through the Callas literature, I note two mentions of a possible miscarriage, both of which predate Nicholas Gage’s Greek Fire (2001). Franco Zeffirelli in his autobiography (1986) mentions a rumor that Callas suffered a miscarriage, though the timeframe is not specified. Renzo and Roberto Allegri in Callas by Callas (I have the Italian edition, from 1997) state that she miscarried a child by Onassis in her fourth month of pregnancy, again giving no indication of when this might have occurred.

Neither Zeffirelli nor the Allegri duo is an unimpeachable source, but a miscarriage seems at least plausible to me. A full- or nearly full-term pregnancy that never showed, ending in an elective (!) Caesarean for reasons of vanity, resulting in the baby’s death, and followed closely by high-profile social and artistic appearances—all this seems not at all plausible to me.

A 2007 interview of Giovanna Lomazzi (PDF), a friend who travelled with Callas during the months when Gage says that Callas was expecting, makes no mention of a pregnancy. I find it surprising that the Repubblica journalist did not even raise the issue, given that the pregnancy by 2007 was treated as fact in the Italian press and always good for cheap thrills.

This is the last time that I intend to post about Omero Lengrini until I have examined the crucial documents myself and spoken at length with surviving Callas intimates in a position to know about a supposed pregnancy. (Needless to say, very few of them remain.)


  1. You can visit
    and have a look on pictures of Callas during he supposed pregnancy !..

  2. Encore une fois, merci Robin. Oui, le lien je l'avais mis dans le premier message "Omero Lengrini", je crois. (J'écris très vite, l'ordi est presque "sans jus" :-))).) m