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Maria Callas

Icons of the Century

Though she called Rosa Ponselle, another American-born soprano, “the greatest singer of us all,” many would beg to differ with Maria Callas, diva of divas for legions of fans and undoubtedly the most recognized female opera star of the 20th century.

True, Callas’ early death (at 53), her Vogue-worthy beauty, tempestuous love life (epitomized by an affair with Aristotle Onassis) and stormy career (especially her battles with the Met’s Rudolf Bing) all contribute to her legend.

Yet these are but footnotes when compared to the voice: earthy, intensely emotional, inherently dramatic and — most of all — inimitable.

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