Maria Callas Special Issue

Welcome to this special Maria Callas issue in honor of the centenary of the legendary soprano’s birth. There are many individuals to thank, without whose contributions and assistance this issue would not have been possible.

First, our readers, several of whom took the time to write articles and share their knowledge and enthusiasm of Callas. These include John H. Haley, Christopher Kuner, Nils-Göran Olve, Richard Rodzinski Timothy Shu, and Ernest So. In fact, Tim Shu was the impetus behind the entire project – in response to the readers’ survey we conducted a year ago, it was he who suggested a Callas issue to mark the 100th anniversary.

Special thanks must also be made to Karl H. van Zoggel, Co-Founder and President of The Maria Callas International Club (M.C.I.C.), which besides enriching the lives of her countless fans, has made an immeasurable contribution to Callas scholarship. I encourage you to visit the M.C.I.C website here to learn the benefits of subscribing – their site is also featured in this issue’s “On the Web” Department. Karl must be counted the foremost Callas authority in the world and provided generous and unfailing assistance with this issue.

Thanks also to Roger Pines, who agreed to tackle our Desert Island Discs column at short notice, producing – as always – an impeccably researched and written article that not only details the two remarkable “Callas in Paris” albums on Columbia (now Warner) from 1961 and 1963, but also illuminates the multi-faceted nature of Callas’ versatile technique and incomparable artistry.

Jon Tolansky has written a valuable piece that could have easily been titled “The Callas Musicians Knew”, documenting the awe with which she was held by her colleagues, not only an extraordinary singer, but also a complete musician in every sense of the word; read his article “Maria Callas · A Centenary Souvenir” here.

With this issue I’d like to introduce Nicholas “Nick” E. Limansky, a distinguished author – see our Book Dept. – including a truly absorbing, and brilliantly titled, volume called Pirates of the High Cs, which documents the world of opera bootlegging. For our Callas issue, he surveys Callas’ “live” recordings, of which there are many. His is an expert guide in what we hope will be the first of many more articles.

The artist and writer Neale Osborne returns with an essential viewing guide to Maria Callas. As with many artists who have inspired thousands of video and audio posts on YouTube, separating the wheat from the chaff is no easy task, but Neale has done just that, curating a must-see list of concerts, interviews and other videos featuring Callas.

Our “From the Archives” Department is something special, I think. The author and discographer James H. North profiles conductor Andre Kostelanetz, “Music’s Leading Man”, who recorded a number of opera-for-orchestra arrangements for Columbia Masterworks, including a fetching account of Puccini’s Tosca. As with Nick Limansky, we are hoping Jim North will become a regular Liner Notes contributor.

Last, but certainly not least, we are pleased to profile Tamino Autographs, the amazing online musical (and historical) memorabilia shop. Its founder, Néstor H, Masckauchán, graciously made time to speak with us about the fascinating world of musical collectibles. You can visit his shop by clicking here. Please note: Tamino currently has some 170 Callas-related memorabilia items for sale! I wish you all festive winter holidays and a very Happy New Year!

— Warm regards, Joe Moore

Our Maria Callas special issue is now available and is free to subscribers.