Retail pak HighBridge Audio 1997
CS ISBN 1565112235 $34.95 Four cassettes
Classical music is languishing in America, but opera has somehow seized the attention of our youth. These new fans will have heard legends about the fiery diva, Maria Callas, the sexy Greek-American soprano with the thrilling dark voice, who reigned in the 1950's, and whose feuds and loves (including Aristotle Onassis) brought her more notoriety than her prodigious acting and musicianship. Here comes their chance to hear what all the fuss was about. This public radio documentary, expanded for cassette, misses every opportunity for distinction. It only skims the surface of a brief, stormy life and a complex talent. The listener is grateful to hear Callas and her contemporaries reminisce but disappointed that their interviews are reduced to sound bites. Fortunately, the exercise is redeemed by generous excerpts from rare performance recordings dating back to her teenaged broadcast debut on "Major Bowles' Amateur Hour" in the '30's. A must buy for opera buffs and Callas worshippers. Y.R. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: MAR/APR 98]
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