Why is Callas different from all other divas?

Why is Callas different from all other divas?


norman lebrecht

October 22, 2015

There’s a fine article by Peter G. Davis in the new Opera News about the quality of Maria Callas – the quality that grates on the ear, the quality that sets her apart from every other soprano before or since.

Attempts to communicate the Callas phenomenon have always posed a challenge, even to her most devoted admirers. Music critics struggle to find analytical terms that can describe any singing voice; the vocabulary of similes never seems sufficiently precise. And the Callas soprano is particularly elusive.

Peter is probably the best writer on voice in America. Read the full article here.



  • Milka says:

    She was a past master at presenting herself as an angst ridden diva.
    Nothing ever changed with her except the costumes.

    To compare her with other singers shows ignorance to the art . Other singers
    presented themselves as singers Callas presented herself as Callas the great diva –
    two different disciplines. She played this role to a T until the last dreadful screech ridden
    farewell tour when even her most loyal fans fled in embarrassment.

  • Max Grimm says:

    Indeed, fled by the thousands. At the end, there’s hardly anyone left to applaud:

    • Milka says:

      you should not have included the dreadful you tube yowling to prove your point’
      And yes that tour was finally cancelled as the yowling from both became worse
      and worse until saner folk and box office dictated the end.

      • Max Grimm says:

        The point is not her singing, it’s the fact that people were willing to listen to her. It shows that ardent fans don’t flee in embarrassment but remain in place (as genuine fandom often renders people as deaf as you claim your therapist to be).