Callas in Meyerbeer

Today, 22 November, is the feast of Saint Cecilia, the patroness of music in several Christian churches. “Cecilia” was one of Maria Callas’s names. By one account, “Sophia Cecilia” were the names on her birth certificate, and “Maria Anna” or “Anna Maria” were added when she was baptized. In her childhood in New York, Callas was known mostly as “Mary.”

“Ombre légère” from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, which Callas always sung in Italian, was part of her concert repertoire from 1949 to 1957. She often programmed it in conjunction with dramatic arias, to showcase her versatility. It’s silly music, but Callas sings it with her customary fierce exactitude, and its intricacy and sparkle somehow seem appropriate for a feast day. This version is from Callas’s 1954 Lyric and Coloratura Arias recital for EMI. Tullio Serafin leads the Philharmonia Orchestra.

1 comment:

  1. Only a soprano with Callas's prowess could make a Meyerbeer aria sound as though it were Rossini. Thanks for posting, and for keeping the flame that is La divina burning bright!


    j aka chanteuse