Passionate opera singer Maria Callas (1923-1977) was born Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria Kalogeropoulos in New York City. "Child prodigies never enjoy true childhood," she explained. "I can't remember a toy I cared about more than any other...but only the songs I sang and sang and sang."
In 1941, the diva made her debut as Tosca at the Athens Opera and soon became the popular "La Divina" to her avid fans. An inspirational soprano, she had a reputation as a temperamental artist who celebrated drama with her performances.
"To sing is an expression of your being, a being which is becoming," she said. With versatility, she interpreted such classics as Verd's Aida and Puccini's Turandot with effortless strength and magical emotion.
"If you want to live in harmony with yourself, you have to work," she revealed. "Work very hard. I don't agree with Descartes: 'I think therefore I am.' My motto is 'I work therefore I am.'"
Known for her controversial affair with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, she tragically pined for him after his marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy. "First I lost weight, then I lost my voice, and now I've lost Onassis," Callas said.
According to New York Times music critic Harold Schonberg, the diva was an artist "who lived her roles and made them come to life...She looked on opera as theater as well as voice, and she was the one who put it all together."
Follow your imagination to your passion.