Maria Callas/Opera Arias (Tomtit Music Reviews 3)

Uncommon selections make this collection stand out

J.P. Williams
2 min readJan 15, 2023
Illustration by author.

Once was a golden age of classical music on vinyl. Labels pumped out records, often relying on pieces that they knew would satisfy the masses. Thus, one would expect to find selections from standbys like Norma, Tosca, La Traviata… Instead, the cover of this 1971 release from EMI Angel promises Maria Callas singing bits from Vincenzo Bellini’s Il Pirata and Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila, Un Ballo in Maschera, I Lombardi and I Vespri Siciliani, along with a photo of La Divina that’s been oddly colorized so her dress is the exact same shade of supersaturated blue as the candles and clockface. The focus is on the Fifties, when Callas sounded best. It’s all wonderful, but I’m particularly taken with this aria from Attila — even if my old disk is a bit too crackly at times.

Note: I wrote this for Medium.com. If you are reading this on another platform, it has been pirated. I quit the Medium Partner Program, so I’m not doing this for money. It is nice, however, to know someone’s reading, so please clap or comment to let me know somebody’s out there. Gladius adhuc lucet.

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J.P. Williams

Just back from a break. Mostly writing about boxing now.