Callas and Verdi’s Otello

Verdi’s Otello had little importance in Maria Callas’s career. She recorded the Willow Song and Ave Maria for EMI in Paris in 1963. She also taught these selections (along with Iago’s Credo) during her Juilliard master classes.

In 1972 and 1973, Callas set down for Philips a pitifully tentative rendition of the love duet from Act I of Otello with Giuseppe di Stefano. That recording was kicking around YouTube earlier this year and is best left unheard.

Maria Callas also sang music from Rossini’s Otello on at least one occasion, in Thessaloníki in 1943.

Her rendition of Verdi’s “Ave Maria” is simple and inward, as befits this beautiful aria. The orchestra is led by Nicola Rescigno.

Please listen to Maria Callas in other music by Verdi.

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