Maria Callas Google Doodle celebrates 90th birthday of Greek soprano

The search engine's logo shows the diva singing against the backdrop of an opera house

Google has marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of the iconic Greek soprano Maria Callas with a celebratory doodle.

Callas was born on 2 December 1923, in New York and made her debut in Boccaccio for the Royal Opera of Athens, and took her first major role in Tosca. Her Italian opera debut took place at the Verona Arena in 1947 and her American one in 1954. Callas died in Paris in 1977.

Callas's dramatic off-stage life often overshadowed her success on it. She developed a rivalry with the more classically-styled soprano Renata Tebaldi, acquired the reputation as a prima donna, and had an affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis after divorcing her husband Giovanni Meneghini - only for Onassis to leave her for Jackie Kennedy.

Her vocal style and talents were not universally approved of in classical circles, but they were most certainly distinctive, once described as 'part oboe, part clarinet'. She brought her personal dramatic style to her performances. Music critic Ira Siff said: "When I saw the final two Toscas she did in the old [Met], I felt like I was watching the actual story on which the opera had later been based."

 

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