On September 21, an extraordinary event, “A Centenary Celebration of Maria Callas”, marking the centenary of Maria Callas’ birth, was held with particular success at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Manhattan.
The event, which was co-organized by the Consulate General of Greece in New York and the Juilliard School and was part of the “The Arts and Society Series at Juilliard” program, featured the life of Maria Callas, her work and her contribution to art. It was one of the most outstanding events organized by the Consulate General of Greece in New York.
In his address to the packed hall of some 700 Callas fans, Juilliard’s President Damian Woetzel said that the stage was the same one that Callas performed during her famous master classes in 1971-1972.
In his greeting, the Consul General of Greece in New York, Dinos Konstantinou, said that Callas’ voice enchanted audiences around the world and that Callas was the definition of a diva. Addressing the audience, he stressed that the large presence of the audience honored Maria Callas and her contribution to culture.
He added that culture is a source of inspiration a force for optimism, and any other worthy create our societies, through monuments, intellectual creations, speech, music, and theatre, an irreplaceable resource in our daily life for human relations, social cohesion and quality of life.
«With the guidance of her teachers in Greece, but also with her personal zeal, the Greek soprano sealed the history of opera with the unique quality of her voice, her impressive acting skills, her unparalleled interpretive technique and her wonderful stage presence», Mr.Konstantinou also noted.
«Opera, after Callas, would never be the same again. A whole generation of lyric artists would be influenced by her performance, both on stage and by the many recordings of her voice, which also put her in the ‘home’ of all people», the Consul General concluded.
Afterwards, director Stephen Wadsworth presented a program with a collection of recordings and rare photographs describing Callas’s life and her contribution to opera, as well as videos of famous opera singers and other artists referring to Callas.
The celebrations organized by the Consulate General of Greece in New York for the centenary of the birth of Maria Callas will conclude on 16 November with a magnificent event at the Cathedral in NYC, where will sing young sopranos, inspired by the life and work of Maria Callas.