Callas in Los Angeles

A relatively recent addition to the Callas legacy is her November 1958 Los Angeles concert under Nicola Rescigno.

The program included arias by Thomas, Boito, Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, and “Tu che invoco” from Spontini’s La vestale, the opera with which Callas had opened the 1954-55 La Scala season.

While this selection from the Los Angeles concert has the usual problems of distortion and muffled sound that one hears in “live” recordings of the era, it is very interesting because it documents Callas in impressive voice and gives an idea of what her voice sounded like in the theatre, with “air” around it. Unfortunately, she does end the Spontini scene with a high note that is ugly as both vocalism and music-making.

Earlier this year, I posted other material relating to La vestale, including rehearsal photos and footage from the Scala production.


  1. Thank you for posting this rare recording of Callas! Her interpretation, as ever, is excellent - and I don't care very much for that last high note. ;-)

    "Tu che invoco" was, in the beginning of my passion for opera, one of my favorite arias. Now I know so many arias that I can't choose some as favorite anymore!

  2. I am drawn to these severe Romantics or proto-Romantics--Spontini, Cherubini, and friends. Too bad we don't have today singers of Callas's caliber to champion their operas!