Venerated soprano Maria Callas performed her function in lots of a tragedy, however her life off stage was no much less dramatic or vibrant with accusations that she was blackmailed by her mom, swindled by her husband and drugged by her lover, unpublished letters have revealed.
Biographer Lyndsy Spence has spent the final two years sifting via three collections of beforehand unseen materials, which doc the extent to which Callas felt she was abused and ill-treated by these near her, The Observer reviews.
The startling revelations seem in Spence’s new e book, Cast A Diva: The Hidden Life of Maria Callas, which is revealed by The History Press on 1 June.
Maria Callas was blackmailed by her mom, swindled by her husband and drugged by her lover, unpublished letters have revealed in a brand new e book by historian Lyndsy Spence
In never-before-seen letters, Callas alleges that lover Aristotle Onassis – who was married to Jackie Kennedy – bodily threatened and drugged her
In one other letter, Callas referred to her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini as a ‘louse’
Among essentially the most surprising are letters to her secretary wherein Callas reveals delivery magnate Aristotle Onassis – who was married to Jackie Kennedy and with whom Callas had a long-running affair – bodily threated the singer.
Spence says of the letters from 1966: ‘There can be disturbing data from the diary of certainly one of her shut associates detailing how Onassis drugged her, largely for sexual causes – at the moment we might class that as date rape.’
Who was Maria Callas?
Born Maria Anna Cecilia Sofia Kalogeropoulos on December 2, 1923 in New York City
She left the United States in 1937 to check on the Athens Conservatory
Callas established her career in Italy
In 1949 she married industrialist Giovanni Battista Meneghini
In 1957 she met Aristotle Onassis and carried on an extended affair with him, regardless of the actual fact they had been each married
In 1966 she turned a Greek citizen and relinquished her US citizenship
By the time Callas retired she had carried out greater than 40 roles and recorded greater than 20 operas
In 1971 she divorced Meneghini
Callas spent her final years residing largely in isolation in Paris
She died of a coronary heart assault aged 53 on September 16, 1977
Love equally evaded her in her marriage to Italian industrialist Giovanni Battista Meneghini, who Callas known as ‘a louse’.
She wrote: ‘My husband continues to be pestering me after having robbed me of greater than half my money by placing the whole lot in his identify since we had been married…I used to be a idiot…to belief him.’
In different letters, Callas alleges that she was stopped from returning to Juilliard School in New York to show after she rebuffed advances from then president Peter Mennin.
She was equally scathing of her mom, who Callas stated offered tales to the press and blackmailed her.
But it was for her long-time soprano rival Renata Tebaldi that Callas reserved essentially the most vitriol.
During the Fifties the 2 singers had been concerned in a public spat, after Tebaldi stated: ‘I’ve one factor that Callas does not have: a coronary heart.’
Meanwhile, Callas spoke about their respective voices, saying that to take action was like ‘evaluating champagne to cognac’.
Each dismissed their supposed rivalry as made up by the media, however now a beforehand unpublished letter challenges that supposed fact.
‘She’s as nasty and as sly as they arrive,’ wrote Callas.
In her later years, Callas’ longstanding affair with Onassis ended and she divorced her husband in 1971.
She spent her final years residing largely in isolation in Paris and died of a coronary heart assault in 1977, aged 53.
She was adored on stage, however love evaded Maria Callas in actual life, a brand new e book claims
The e book additionally sheds new mild on Callas’ rivalry with fellow soprano Renata Tribaldi