Maria Callas was born in New York on 2nd December, 1923 and died in Paris on 16th September 1977. She was christened Maria Anna Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou. Her father’s family were originally from Neochorio, in Ithomi in the Messenia Region. She became known as Maria Callas, one of most famous divas in opera history, with a voice that is instantly recognisable and a dramatic power which transcends the stage, thus making her the soprano voice of the 20th century and her recordings, both studio and ‘live’, selling millions of discs to this day
Maria Callas sang the role of Norma 89 times and the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor 46 times. Other roles include, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata which she sang 63 times, Puccini’s Tosca - 46, Verdi’s Aida - 33, Cherubini’s Medea - 31, Puccini’s Turandot - 24, Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula - 22, Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore - 20, Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani - 16, Constanza in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio – 14, Donizetti’s Anna Bolena - 12, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda - 13 and Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde 12 times. She also sang the role of Smaragda 17 times in O Protomastoras by the Greek composer, Kalomiris.
Callas sang 42 different opera roles on stage. In total, she sang more than 120 times in the major opera houses of the world.