Saturday, 2 December 2017. The Hotel Grande Bretagne of Athens presented with a Great Success the 40th Years Celebration for Maria Callas death. OPERA GALA “MARIA CALLAS 2017”
A the Winter Garden City Lounge of the Hotel Grande Bretagne, the most prestigious and historical hotel of Greece at the central Syntagma Square of Athens took place a glamorous Opera Gala dedicated to the most famous Opera Diva of the history the Great Maria Callas. For the occasion the signers performed at the authentic piano that Maria Callas uses at her stay in the Hotel when visited Greece for Concerts and performances.
The successful program included famous arias and duets from operas performed by Maria Callas as well as arias from the operas "Prometheus Bound" and "Olympic Flame" by Panagiotis Karousos.
The impressive Opera Gala featured Greek Opera Stars: soprano Irini Konsta, bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos, soprano Vanessa Kalkanis, and tenor Theodoros Birakos. The fine opera soloists accompanied at the piano by Pantelis Legakis. The composer Panagiotis Karousos presented the program.
The opera stars took many applauses by the audience and all get an honorific "Maria Callas Medal".
Between Guest of Honors were Dimitrios Kremastinos, Vice-President of the Hellenic Parliament, Minister Athanasios Gianopoulos, the historian Dr Florin Marinescu, Eleftherios Kalkanis, principal conductor of Athens Symphony Orchestra, Tim Ananiadis, General Manager of Hotel Grande Bretagne, Christine Papathanassiou, Director of Public Relations, Dr Chrisoula Tsigri, School Counselor, Giannis Konstantinidis, Entrepreneur, and many others.
Maria Callas, Opera Gala Program:
"Ritorna Vincitor" from Verdi's Aida: Irini Konsta, soprano
"La donna è mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto: Theodoros Birakos, tenor
Aria of Deianira from the Olympic Flame: Irini Konsta, soprano
Aria of Prometheus: Vasilis Asimakopoulos, bass
Aria of Oceanid from Prometheus: Vanessa Kalkanis, soprano
Duet from Olympic Flame “Herakles & Eyristheus: V. Asimakopoulos, Th. Birakos
Aria of Hermes from Prometheus: Theodoros Birakos, tenor
"Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" from Puccini's La Rondine: Vanessa Kalkanis, soprano
"Addio! speranza ed anima" duet from Verdi's Rigoletto: Th. Birakos, V. Kalkanis
Aria of Banco from Verdi's Macbeth: Vasilis Asimakopoulos, bass
Flowers' duet from Lakmé by Leo Delibes: Vanessa Kalkanis, Irini Konsta
La Traviata - Brindisi (Libiamo ne' lieti calici)
Maria Callas, (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977), was a Greek-American soprano, and one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini and further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.
La Scala mounted many new productions specially for Callas by directors such as Herbert von Karajan, Margherita Wallmann, Franco Zeffirelli and, most importantly, Luchino Visconti. Visconti stated later that he began directing opera only because of Callas, and he directed her in lavish new productions of La vestale, La traviata, La sonnambula, Anna Bolena and Iphigénie en Tauride.
Callas's voice has been difficult to place in the modern vocal classification or Fach system, especially since in her prime, her repertoire contained the heaviest dramatic soprano roles as well as roles usually undertaken by the highest, lightest and most agile coloratura sopranos. Regarding this versatility, Tullio Serafin said, "This woman can sing anything written for the female voice".
|Maestro Eleftherios Kalkanis with his wife pianist Angeliki Makrionitou|
Music critic John Ardoin has argued that Callas was the reincarnation of the 19th-century soprano sfogato. Callas herself appears to have been in agreement not only with Ardoin's assertions that she started as a natural mezzo-soprano, but also saw the similarities between herself and Pasta and Malibran.
In her final years she sang in Medea, Norma, and Tosca, most notably her Paris, New York, and London Toscas of January–February 1964, and her last performance on stage, on July 5, 1965, at Covent Garden.
|Composer Panagiotis Karousos with soprano Vanessa Kalkanis|
|Painter Maria Gill with composer Panagiotis Karousos|