She was Callas’s deputy

She was Callas’s deputy


norman lebrecht

October 11, 2014

The splendid Italian soprano Anita Cerquetti died today at the age of 83.

In January 1958, she stepped in for Maria Callas as Norma in Rome, while continuing to perform the same role for two weeks in Naples. The tour de force earned her world headlines but appears to have affected her health. Over the next three years she steadily reduced her commitments until announcing her complete retirement in 1961, aged 30.



  • Andrew Patner says:

    These points make sense and in later filmed interviews Miss Cerquetti also said that her busy schedule was driving her batty and implied that she had had a breakdown and that retirement gave her “peace” and “serenity.” To make a comeback seemed to be via “the pointing of a gun. Why? Basta!”

  • ruben greenberg says:

    She was right up there with the best of them; a fabulous singer.