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Maria Callas Museum Opens in Athens

The Maria Callas Museum is a tribute to the life of Greece’s most famous opera singer – Maria Callas. It is a cross between a historical museum and a performing arts museum, with the goal of sharing Callas’s work with an international audience. 

Photo From Maria Callas Personal Album | © Maria Callas Museum

About Maria Callas

2023 marks the 100-year anniversary of the birth of one of Greece’s most influential and well-known figures, Maria Callas. She was unwanted by her mother, a perfectionist, massively famous, and also infamous for her affair– these are some of the main ingredients of the life of Maria Callas. Despite all the drama in her life, she became one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century.

 

Maria Callas’s Early Life

Born in New York in 1923, to Greek immigrant parents, she was enrolled in the Athens Conservatory and by 1949 Maria Callas had become a household name. In 1951, she moved to Italy and met her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini. She received the nickname La Divina in Italy because her voice was by any standards an amazing phenomenon.

Maria Callas in Venice | © Maria Callas Museum

Maria Callas’s Love Life

Later in life, she fell madly in love with Aristotle Onassis, one of the richest businessmen in Greece, and divorced her husband, deeply hoping to marry Onassis and have a family. Callas got really close to fulfilling her dream until Onassis suddenly called it off and, even more surprisingly, married the widow Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

Signing Autographs with Onassis

About the Maria Callas Museum

The museum’s permanent exhibition has a few key goals. Among them, the museum is designed to show the different sides of her personality and to inspire younger generations in their own art. The museum also preserves and maintains physical items related to Maria Callas, like her dresses or performance items. The museum welcomes all members of the public and has a very welcoming staff.

 

Tours of the Maria Callas Museum

On your tour of the museum, you start on the second floor and explore rooms inspired by some of Callas’s famous operas – “Norma”, “Tosca”, and “La Traviata”. On the first floor, there are exhibits about the life story of the artist and the notable milestones in her journey. You learn about her personal mentors and teachers.

Museum Tour | © Maria Callas Museum

Maria Callas Museum Collection

Since 2000, the City of Athens has been collecting objects related to Maria Callas. The first items were received from an international auction in Paris. Over time, the collection has increased and now includes around 1,000 items that either belonged to or are related to Maria Callas. Other institutions, like the Maria Callas Greek Society, have helped to expand the collection.

Museum Tour | © Maria Callas Museum

Cost of Admission

General Admission is €10. Reduced prices are available for seniors, young adults, student musicians, large families, soldiers, and teachers. The price is reduced to either €7 or €3.

 

Maria Callas Cafe

On the Museum’s ground floor, you will also find a cafe with items that are inspired by Maria Callas. You do not need to buy an admission ticket to access the cafe. A stop at the cafe is, however, a fitting ending to a tour of the Maria Callas museum.  

Maria Callas Cafe | © Maria Callas Museum

Maria: The Movie

Angelina Jolie was recently spotted in Greece for the filming of Maria, a movie about the life of Greece’s famous opera singer, Maria Callas. This Hollywood actress was most recently seen in Pyrgos in the Peloponnese at the Apollo Theater. A few scenes were being shot there, and then Jolie moved to the town of Katakolo, where the Christina O yacht was waiting for her.

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