Maria Callas: Sacred Monster

By Stelios Galatopoulos

The definitive biography of one of the greatest performers of the century by one of her closest friends. Highly illustrated with many previously unseen photographs.

Maria Callas (1923-1977) possessed the voice that characterised the age; even that golden age of singers which she all too briefly spanned. Stelios Galatopoulos first met Callas as a fan, at a performance of La Gioconda in 1947. Aged 24, she was still a large woman, hiding the gaunt dramatic figure she was to become. Galatopoulos was there at her debut at Covent Garden in 1952 and by 1957 had become a friend.

By 1959, her first marriage had broken down and her affair with Onassis began. Until her retirement in 1965 the performances were few. Her friendship with Galatopoulos grew during this period and they had become very close by1977, the year of her shockingly early death. Early that year Galatopoulos had asked her if she planned to write an autobiography. She replied ‘My memoirs are in the music I interpret… don’t you think I am too young to write my memoirs. I am not eighty yet, you know.’ In 1998 she would have been 75. Maria Callas: Sacred Monster is the closest we shall get to an autobiography. In that last year she opened her heart to Galatopoulos. Since her death too many biographies have distorted her image beyond recognition and too many untruths have lain unchallenged for Galatopoulos to remain silent any longer. Incorporating much material from conversations between Callas and the author – never previously published – this is the definitive portrait of one of the greatest performers of the century.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 29 Oct 1998
Pages: 576
ISBN: 978-1-85702-826-3
For almost fifty years, Stelios Galatopoulos has been visiting the major opera houses of the world, where he has seen all artists of any importance. He has been a music critic for many years and also writes programmes for opera houses and recording labels (Covent Garden, Opera North and EMI, DECCA, CBI, Chandos) He broadcasts regularly and has written two previous studies of Callas (Callas La Divina for Dent and Callas Prima Donna Assoluta for WH Allen in 1976).