Diva Day: The Auction of Maria Callas


The opera singer Maria Callas (pictured) died 30 years ago. Today, according to the London Times, “letters revealing the private loves and torments of the [singer], including her unfulfilled longing for a child, go on view in Milan… before an auction of her personal belongings next week. The sale at Sotheby’s includes her evening gowns, costumes, jewellery, record collection, annotated music scores and opera contracts, as well as 3,000 photographs and 5,000 pages of mostly handwritten correspondence.” The letters from her admirers and colleagues are filled with tosh: conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein describes himself to Callas as “your almost lover.” Commenting on the auction, Franco Zeffirelli says that Callas was “the most important woman of the 20th century, apart from Mother Teresa of Calcutta” — and Franco Zeffirelli.

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