Callas, as They Saw Her

David A. Lowe, Editor Frederick Ungar $22.5 (264p) ISBN 978-0-8044-5636-4
""As an artist, Callas remains supreme. The secret of her art cannot be revealed by sifting through her private life,'' asserts operaphile Lowe in his introduction to this compilation of review excerpts, remembrances by colleagues (Gobbi, Sutherland), published interviews with the diva herself and scholarly debates about Callas's technique and artistry. The review excerpts are often too brief to be meaningful since Lowe quotes only the comments on Callas from reviews of complete operas, but they are exhaustive (the anti-Callas camp is fully represented) and Callas the consummate performer comes vividly alive. Lowe's research has been wide-ranging: the first review quoted is from 1942, when 19-year-old Maria Kalogeropoulos sang Tosca in Athens: ``She not only sustains the role without failings and sings it correctly, but she is capable at the same time of performing it with a conviction that in many places overwhelms the audience.'' Lowe knows his readers want every word they can have about Callas. The brief but tart-tongued bibliography is the volume's gem: ``One reads the book with fascination and then rushes to shower afterward,'' Lowe says of Arianna Stassinopoulos's 1981 biography. Photos. (July
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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