Callas was timeless elegance in sleekly-cut or brightly-patterned Biki, Pucci, Fendi and Yves Saint Laurent. She was more Parisian chic, less campy Southern Belle socialite as sourced in Posen's collection.
We're flattered that he's dipped into opera for inspiration but NONONO cat to the mini-film of Crystal Renn ungracefully channeling Callas (click here, it doesn't embed). (It's part of a "12/14/12 Market Highs" feature. Click on "Get the Scoop" to go to the first slide where the film's been embedded).
More about Emiliano Cavalli's iconic women (including former adult film star, former member of Italian Parliament and former Mrs Jeff Koons, Cicciolina) here. The artist is showing -- opening on May 31 -- at the Castelli Gallery, Milan.
The flamboyant, Gibraltarian fashion designer who makes Freddie Mercury look like a rabbi, Marc Jacobs look like a high school principal, and makes Vivienne Westwood's designs look like nun garb. The petite, Paris-based designer whose personal style borrows liberally from a gothic pirate style, no doubt embraces his inner diva, which is why we're not surprised to see Galliano namedrop Maria Callas in a Proust Questionnaire with Corriere's ~Lady~ supplement, "Io Donna".
When the designer was asked to name his favorite singer, he mentioned la Callas, which only makes us wistful that Galliano and Callas weren't contemporaries -- because we'd possibly throw our favorite stuffed teddy bear off a Venetian balcony (like Angelina Jolie just did in Venice) to have seen Callas in one of Galliano's gowns.
A recent trip to Ricordi in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele uncovered a photo of that Austrian heartthrob, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, as photographed for Gramophone Magazine (or as we like to call it, ~Graemoephoene Maegaezine~ ).
We're also fond of this new box set of Maria Callas discs, which reminds us of a box of Valentine's Day candy. A veritable Whitman's Sampler of Callas if you will.
Dolce e Gabbana, those big opera fans that OC runs into quite often at la Scala, have given today on Milan's runways a sweet shoutout to the great Maria -- she appears on t-shirts by the duo for the D&G collection, and other prints by the duo replicate vintage opera playbills.
La Fenice's playbills, though, even D&G really wanted la Scala's. But licensing was problematic.
D&G shirts with the Fenice logo and "Norma" playbill, not la Scala's.
Stefano and Domenico spoke to the media after the show and regretted "that la Scala did not give us the chance to use their logo. But la Fenice is perfect! Our style is heavily influenced by Visconti and he shot 'Senso' at la Fenice...".
A spokesperson for the Milanese opera house told news agency ANSA that "we didn't have enough time... a review process is necessary whenever la Scala's logo is licensed".
We all need our gimmicks, but we were surprised to find two of opera's greatest legacies chillaxing in the window of a local macellaio. We all know that Pavarotti was quite the aficionado of all things edible & drinkable, and Callas a foodie as well, but the correlation is a bit tenuous. Regardless, we're casting 500 stylepoints @ Sam the Butcher for his operacentric campaign. Ridi, Pagliaccio, e compra la carne!
Tomorrow night premieres another homage to the legacy that is la Maria Callas. Milan's Teatro degli Arcimboldi (TAM we're fond to call it) will host artist Micha van Hoecke's vision of the legendary diva through dance, played out by his company of 17 ballerinas. The show was created (and funded) originally for the Ravenna Festival under the patronage of Mrs. Cristina Muti, who shared with van Hoecke a mutual admiration and respect for the late diva. The show was intended to fill the void at the occasion of Callas's 2530th year of death, which passed in 2007.
Van Hoecke spoke to la Repubblica in an article this weekend, "Cosi' la Callas rivive nel mio spettacolo" ("Like this Callas lives again in my show").
The show is called, "Maria Callas, la voix des choses" (The Voice of Things), which is intended to be ambiguous, as Callas to him was a force greater than nature, and someone indefinable (He said to the press, "Her voice is like an alchemist searching for the philosopher's stone...it's something unreachable, but nevertheless necessary"). He goes on to say that she transcended normal humanity, a desperate woman who was born to be sacrificed, and lived a life of torment typical of many great artists.
Next for van Hoecke is another collaboration with Mrs. Riccardo Muti for an upcoming Salome and a Traviata.
Here's a little promo that Teatro degli Arcimboldi put out on the ut00bs. i would probably go but i can't go anyway so I wouldn’t go foreals tia. Frankly, I'd rather have Eliot Spitzer fly over to Milan and steamroll me. I'M A F**KING STEAMROLLA!
Fnac, one of our frequented places to scope out music, is running a special Callas supplement to honor the 30th anniversary of the diva's passing. They have put out a sweet little catalog of all the Callas cds, dvds, and books. Here below is a sample of pages.
You'd think that institutions such as the US government (Callas was a NYC-born US citizen), the Greek Government (Callas took Greek citizenship in order to dissolve her first marriage and be able to remarry), the Italian government (Callas lived here for 20 years, married an Italian, became a star here), la Scala, the Met and other opera houses around the world would actually have 42,000 euros (US $60,000) to spare to buy at Sotheby's auction last night in Milan Maria Callas's annotated scores.
Instead a private citizen, and unabashed Callas lover, il signor Bruno Tosi, saved the scores from ending up in the hands of somebody who'd stash them away somewhere forever or, even worse, an investment fund that'd bury them in some safe somewhere, waiting to be resold page by page at a future date to maximize the investment.
So, a big thank you to signor Tosi and big, fat "booo" to all the abovementioned, myopic institutions.
Tosi, a devoted Callas scholar and collector, is planning to create a Callas museum in Venice: let us hope the project comes to life soon.
The Milan Sotheby's Maria Callas auction @ Palazzo Broggi [shown above] was pretty much the coolest thing to happen in Milan in a while, and OC made it her duty to keep you all in the loop. You can find previous threads addressing the anticipated auction here, here, and most recently here. There were two sessions today to auction off the personal effects of La Maria: Lots 1-156 had gone on the block @ 3:00 pm consisting of letters, documents, and images, while the remaining lots 157-317 went down @ 6:30 pm, consisting of art, furniture, clothes, jewels, and other assorted things. btw, word from the front is that everything sold in the second round, with bidders holding tenaciously to their claimed booty, and even the unsold letters reportedly not sold in Round I finally did sell!
(Above: A shot from the Sotheby's 30 euro auction catalog)
Maria Callas e il suo Pigmalione: Gli anni con Giovanni Battista Meneghini (“Maria Callas and her Pygmalion: Her life wiht Giovanni Battista Meneghini”) had opened to the public five days prior for exciting viewing sessions at the Milan Sotheby’s headquarters, and revealed intimate treasures from the life of la Divina. All the items were sold to Sotheby's by Meneghini's estate heirs, all items from his former home on Italy's Lake Garda and Paris, where he had organized and protected her belongings meticulously.
The first lot began with a 1958 telegraph from Maria to Aga Khan; a letter to Elvira Leonardi Bouyeure (a.k.a Biki), her Milanese fashion designer friend, who created many of her gowns and everyday outfits; Reel 2 reels of Maria’s performances; a letter she wrote to Time Magazine after errors appeared in a November 1956 story on her; a document called, "My Defense" about the case brought against her by Richard Bagorozy and all the subsequent correspondence; hundreds of b/w & color photos collected in albums; opera contracts from 1947-55; two letters from Marlene Dietrich; 54 gramophone records of various performances; jewelry-purchased receipts; a Malibran autograph collection; an autographed Ponchielli music sketch for la Gioconda; 250 opera scores; telegrams from Zeffirelli, Visconti, Toscanini, Serafin; and finally, tons of oil paintings of still lives, lots of Byzantine Christ and Italian Renaissance crucifixions, annunciations, and Madonna & childs.
Lot two began with a marble sculpture of Dionysus; wood castanets given to la Callas by Antonio Ruiz Soler in 1959; complete porcelain Limoges dining sets, and more service from all over England, Germany, and Japan; walnut cupboards; chandeliers; 18th century chairs and mirrors; more silver plates, bowls, and trays than imaginable under one roof; tons of gold jewelry, pins, bracelets, necklaces, especially those from Cartier; Callas & Meneghini's Weingrill 1949 wedding bands; various gold medallions given from all over Italian provinces; a huge collection of gold coins; and finally, her wardrobe, most of it made by close friend Elvira Leonardi Bouyeure (Biki) with and her brother-in-law designer Alain Reynaud, and more gowns by Arnell, Biki, Malcom Starr, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior.
Now let's see look @ some of the more awesome listings!
(Above: Image of Callas and Meneghini in Rome in 1956)
(Above: Image of Leonard Bernstein and Maria, with the inscription, "For my beloved Maria from her almost-lover Lenny B. Paris, Nov. '76")
(Above: An autographed photograph of Gioachino Rossini, given to Maria in 1967)
(Above: 18th century silver tray with velvet and "M.C." initials.)
(Above: 20th century, four piece set of vanity items in silver, ivory, and malachite, photo from her house in 1955.)
(From the wedding in Verona in 1949, gold wedding rings inscribed with 'Maria Batista 21-4-1949'.)
(Above: Collection of various medals, given to Maria from various Italian cities)
(Above left-to-right: House dress by Arnell, black velvet house dress by Biki, house dress in green nylon, caftan in chiffon by Malcom Starr.)
(Above: Biki from the end of the 1960s, "Callas wore this dress in August 1969, in Monte Carlo, during a break in the acting of Medea, the film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini and produced by Franco Rossellini.)
(Above: "Callas wore this gown in Paris,1965, to a party given by Guy de Rothschild accompanied by Onassis and also at a reception at the Odeon in Paris, in 1966")
Sotheby's earlier reported Lot #8, consisting of 63 love letters between Callas and her husband, did not sell during the Lot I auction.
However, we've just heard that they finally did sell Lot #8, all 63 love letters, during the evening 6:30 pm Lot II auction.
YAY FOR EVARY1!!!!!!!!!!
@ the Milan Sotheby today are two seperate auctions for "Maria Callas e il suo Pigmalione: Gli anni con Giovanni Battista Meneghini" (Maria Callas and her Pygmalion: Her life with Giovanni Battista Meneghini). Earlier this afternoon (@ 3pm to be exact), Lots 1-156 were sold -- and starting @ 6:30, Lots 157-317 will have their go.
According to a Sotherby rep, the only items that failed to go to the highest bidder at this afternoon's auction were the 63 love letters (all written in pencil: see above)from Callas to her husband, Meneghini. Sotheby's valued the letters at around 70,000.00 euros ($103,000.00 USD). However, the bidding didn't go higher than 38,000.00 euros ($56,000.00), and remained unsold. Here's the official description of Lot #8:
63 signed love letters to her husband, with 12 telegrams, 18 notes, 12 postcards, 2 signed photos, 1947-1950, "This remarkable series document the initial love affair and marriage of Callas and G. B. Meneghini, her early career throughout Italy and her tours of South America in 1949-1950."
Live in Milan for a few years, and you’ll begin to reshape your cultural icons and local heroes. Here it is undeniable that Milan & Maria Callas share an inextricable link, and one that cannot be severed. With every passing of a Callascentric event, the city of Milan commemorates appropriately, leaving 2007 – the 30th anniversary of Callas’s passing – duly celebrated. Accordingly, Milan’s Museo di Storia Contemporanea on via Sant'Andrea 6 is running an exhibit titled, “Divina! Maria Callas tra Moda e Mito” (Between Style and Myth), an exploration of fashion, costume, and the diva style of la Callas. The exhibition opened a few days ago, and runs until January 20, 2008. It's totally free, and open Tuesday - Sunday from noon to 7pm.
(Image from within the exhibition "Divina! Maria Callas tra Moda e Mito")
The city of Milan asked a selection of 23 of the most prestigious modern fashion designers to tap into the myth of one of the greatest opera singers of the twentieth century, and to freely design for Maria Callas a gown or outfit based on her most laudable qualities, as an icon of style, in either contemporary or classic style, to showcase her beauty and elegance. The task was to present a dress that Maria would have worn on stage, on vacation, at a party socializing with her admirers…something pulled from their collective imagination or created in a fantasy. For instance, Angela Missoni was most enamored with Maria's "lean, sophisticated, statuesque" form, and evoked these attributes in her design, a column-like ribbon gown. Other artists who participated were Emilio Pucci, Etro, the house of Gianni Versace, Gucci, Gianfranco Ferré, Laura Biagiotti, Missoni, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Trussardi, and Valentino.
(A screenshot from Pasolini's Medea)
Each artist gave a statement about la Callas, and the words hung on wall text behind each gown. John Richmond wrote, "Maria Callas, a marvelous talent and a disarming beauty. Her artistic achievements were so complex that it is difficult to find a significant synthesis of her style. An eclecticism in her image, a pure reflection of that voice, has left an immense heritage of incredible inspiration to rework."
(Quote from Giuseppe Di Stefano: "She wanted to become perfect, the queen of the jet set. She wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world, but behind it all she lived waiting for love.")
Speakers that run throughout the gorgeous & pristine exhibition space pump la Callas's arias overhead, and there are two multimedia displays: the first is a slide show of intimate and personal snapshots (we see the chunky teenage Maria, and loads of young Maria in family portraits), and the second is a large projection of behind-the-scenes during the filming of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea. Also stenciled to the wall were quotes on la Divina from those closest to her: Giuseppe Di Stefano, Franco Zeffirelli (our Frengo compares her to Michelangelo! GO FRENGO), Biki, and Luchino Visconti.
Below, find a tiny selection of the marvelousness that you find in the exhibit (which, for the record, all looked amazingly hawter in person). ONTO THE GOWNS!!!!!!!
(Above: A close-up of Roberto Cavalli's dream for la Callas)
(Above: Prada's cape and short dress...it was made of all black feathers, delicate jewels, all meshed onto the most transparent veiling. But because of the weird tungsten+natural light, the camera captured it in purple. This one was like 100% more stunning in person, by far one of OC's favorite, think shiny deep black.)
(Above: Trussardi's red red red gown in leather and silk)
(Above: Gattinoni's crazy insane creation)
(Above: Next to the Pucci, Cavalli)
(Above: another fabulous creation)
(Above: A gorgeous satin and fur gown)
(Above: This is one we really could have imagined la Callas in.)
(Above: This one is from Etro, click for bigger. The image on the right is a view from the backside of the fur shawl)
(Above: John Richmond's take on la Callas, note the trademark S&M metal chain and cross: la Maria will whip you into submission, and if you happen to prefer La Tebaldi, off with your head!)
Instead of getting ready for la prima that starts at la Scala in a few hours (5PM Milan time, a 5 hour and a half Wagner/Chereau gloomy extravaganza) Opera Chic took the time to go to Palazzo Broggi check out the Callas loot going on the auction block next week at Sotheby's here in Milan (more pictures tomorrow).
It's strange to actually thumb through Callas's scores, and touch her clothes -- she would have been horrified by the invasion of privacy, obviously.
The Biki dresses are out of this world. The Saint Laurent stuff is pretty cool, too, but there's no comparison. We'd really like the navy blue overcoat -- so you know what to give OC for Hanukkah.
We really hope, as we wrote last month, that her annotated scores are kept together and not scattered. If the Greek govt cannot come up with the cash, I'm sure the US government can spare a couple millions -- the Lord knows they're spending much more for much less noble endeavors. I mean, she did get Greek citizenship eventually to dissolve her Italian marriage. But la Maria was a New Yorker.
Another bombshell from Frengo Zeffirelli (pictured above with Cher), a few days after he shared with the public his theory re: Leonardo being one his ancestors.
In a new interview, Zeffirelli explains that Ari Onassis was bi and never loved Maria Callas: Franco Zeffirelli in the magazine "Diva e Donna" sets the record str8:
«Callas was never truly loved, certainly not by Onassis who only wanted to exploit her fame to boost his business. He tried to seduce me: few people know that he was bisexual».
"Frengo" then slams Anna Magnani,
«she was tough, with a terrible attitude, like all the people who achieved success with great difficulty»
A big wet juicy kiss to Liz Taylor, instead,
«she has always been, and still is, a woman with a good, compassionate heart»
and to Bette Davis
«an ugly beautiful woman, who thanks to her brains projected such glamour and charisma that she could make so many beautiful Hollywood divas disappear in her presence»
Now, we like to rattle Frengo's cage every once in a while, but he always surprises us, and make us laugh. Yay for Frengo, and OC is looking forward to his next bomb: maybe he's related to Alighieri? To Jesus himself? We just can't wait!
The collection includes 63 love letters from Callas to Giovanni Battista Meneghini, letters from friends including Leonard Bernstein and Franco Zeffirelli, and photographs of Callas on the stage. Also included in the auction are concert gowns and 300 musical scores, many including handwritten notes by Callas. The collection is from the estate of Meneghini, who was married to Callas from 1949 until she left him for Aristotle Onassis a decade later.
The collection will be open to public display in Milan on Dec. 7, 10, 11 before the Dec. 12 auction.
Two exhibitions, a movie shown at la Scala, a book, a fashion show.
Milan and la Scala are honoring the memory of Callas in the occasion of the 30th anniversary of her passing, September 16, 1977 in Paris. This morning Milan's mayor Letizia Moratti and Scala GM Stéphane Lissner have introduced the program of la Callas's 30th anniversary: Friday the 14 two exhibits will open -- one at Museo Teatrale of la Scala with 20 costumes worn by Callas and one in the Ridotto dei Palchi, of 200 rarely seen photographs, some of them never seen before by the public.
La Scala has also created a book of photographs, 'Maria Callas - Gli anni della Scala', published by Allemandi.
On Sunday the 16 la Scala will transform itself into a movie theatre for a day in the name of Callas: the film "Callas Assoluta" by Philippe Kohly will be shown for three times during the day in the glorious opera house, at noon, at 3PM and at 9PM.
A mystery, surprise fashion show related to the costumes and the clothes worn by Callas has been announced, but details will follow next week.