Question by Rhiannon: Why do some people seem to dislike Maria Callas so much?
Also, sopranos like Anna Netrebko hate being compared to her. But, isn’t that kind of comparison supposed to be a good thing? What’s so bad about Maria that they can’t take it as a compliment?
Answers and Views:
Answer by kat1605
The aim of the Callas was musical brilliance, not likeability. She didn’t make an effort to be liked, so some people didn’t and don’t.
Answer by ACallasFan
There’s no doubt that Maria Callas was an exceptional interpreter, however, her vocal technique was extraordinary too. She was the LAST true belcantist in history with the old school singing technique and her diction was extremely clear.
Some people don’t like Maria Callas’ timbre just because she didn’t sing like the verismo sopranos of the past (like Tebaldi, Stella, or Milanov) and she never sounded woofy like Sutherland or Price. Even though she wasn’t a verismo singer but her interpretation of Tosca was unarguably the best ever.
Answer by lynndramsop
well, there’s no doubt that Callas was a superb actress for the opera. No one before her was able to invest that much “dark, smoldering” personality into the stage character and not let it affect her voice.
( BIG ASIDE- recent brain research has taught us that when we even think of emotion, be it positive or negative, our brain starts immediately working on sending out the chemicals that enhance or create that emotion’s bodily response. You know, like sending out adrenalin for anger, or endorphins for happiness. When we allow ourselves those emotions in singing, the voice is affected, and sometimes the response is not the glorious sound we always wish for.
That’s why most opera singers will display the emotion without experiencing it at the time)
Callas really “sang it from the heart” and had all those emotional chemicals racing around in her. If you have ever watched old footage ( and there must be plenty this week on youtube) you will be caught by her magic. If you just listen, you will find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about. ( personally, I think she sounds like she’s been to the dentist, and still has those big cotton wodges stuck between her cheeks and gums)
This is perhaps the reason why modern sopranos don’t like the comparison.”What, I SOUND like Callas?!?UGH!”
Plus, we like to be recognized for our own talents, and not as a pale imitation of anyone else, ya know?
Plus a bit of elitist snobbery- when you get to the top of the heap, who is there around whose authority is on a par with yours? Whose word will you take as honest, and whose is only a compliment based on not really knowing?
Ooh, just let out a big bad thing there.
Each one of us, whoever we are, should be treated as an individual, and not lumped together. That’s in an ideal world, of course, but you get the hint…
Answer by pinkfloyd_1962
After so many years I have come to a conclusion:
Musical taste is somehow like a taste for certain perfumes.
There is no point in arguing if Chanel 5 is better than Jean Patou’s Sublime.
It’s a matter of soul, of what touches the heart.
so for some people, it is Pavarotti, or Caruso, or Domingo…
and for some, like me, Renata Tebaldi is the one that makes my skin hear the music if you know what I mean.
But Callas….. she is unique. Her interpretation is so dense and profound, that for some persons it seems aggressive and shrieky… but who says she was no good… is a fool.
I think the comparisons you mention are somehow natural… but I also consider them futile and shallow.
I could never argue if Askenazy is better than Rubinstein or if Zubin Mehta is greater than Bernstein….
so relax my friend and enjoy what makes YOU feel close to heaven, Callas, Tebaldi, Freni, Sutherland……..
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