Drugged, sexually abused, swindled… Maria Callas’s tormented life revealed

Her mother blackmailed her, her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini stole from her, and shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis was violent and abandoned her for Jackie Kennedy. Soprano Maria Callas was adored by audiences worldwide but she never knew real love offstage, and her life was even more tragic than previously realised, according to research. In writing […]

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OPERA: New opera company launched to champion neglected works

Conductor John Andrews has launched a new opera company to champion unknown and neglected works. It follows the success – including an Editor’s Choice – of his recent recording of Malcolm Arnold’s 1952 comedy The Dancing Master, about which Gramophone critic Richard Bratby wrote: ‘In short, it’s hard to imagine it done better. Arnold’s many […]

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RUSSIAN OPERA: Musicologist challenges traditional views of Russian music, opera, culture

EVANSTON, Ill. — In an acclaimed book that has been called a “welcome intervention” in gender studies and music, a Northwestern University musicologist explores how Catherine the Great and three other female monarchs who ruled Russia for most of the 18th century used opera to champion their political power. Written by Bienen School of Music […]

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OPERA: It makes less sense than ever – but it isn’t ready to die

  From the archives: In today’s economic climate, opera houses are in trouble. Yet at the same time, more people are watching opera than ever before. What’s going on, asks Rupert Christiansen. It seemed all too grimly appropriate last week that Opera Europa – the umbrella support group and talking-shop for European opera houses – […]

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