Χριστός ἀνέστη, Христос воскрес, and Happy Easter to those who celebrated yesterday!

Today, in honor of Easter in the Greek Orthodox religion, we will honor a certain Greek diva you may have heard of for our first ever #MariaCrushMonday, instead of our usual #SingerCrushSunday.  Maria Callas was a fearless diva who broke the mold of what an artist could and should be.  Her legacy as an artist, singer, and woman will forever leave a significant mark on the opera world.   Her life was quite dramatic on stage as well as off, and both her professional and personal lives had “lead roles” in the public eye.  She was nothing less than iconic, and Leonard Bernstein even said she was “the bible of opera.” Due to her celebrity status during her lifetime, she faced plenty of criticisms, and the media would report with their own negative opinions on her weight, her love life, her performances, rumors of temper tantrums backstage, etc.  She was often a target, but she was a strong woman, and handled all of it as gracefully as humanly possible.  Who do we remember today?  Callas, not her critics.


#MariaCrushMonday aims to leave you with a notable quote from La Divina herself, and of course, a timeless operatic interpretation. This week we will be featuring “Vissi d’arte” which literally translates to “I lived for art” from Puccini’s Tosca, a role that is historically associated with Callas’ interpretation, and a character that is often described as courageous.

“You are born an artist or you are not. And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks. The artist is always there.” ~Maria Callas


Triple Play: For the love of it

Performing is a personal choice. Think about it. Anyone can call themselves an opera singer, or any type of singer they want when singing in the shower, but until you actually get up on stage and perform that is where the real choice begins. I could extend that by saying to pursue opera as a career is also a personal choice. In a young singer’s career there are many opportunities to boast but it is only when we hit the high notes, get through a long passage in one breath, or have that amazing coaching session that we proudly scream, “I AM AN OPERA SINGER!”. Even so, screaming that is a very personal choice. There are paid opera singers and there are non-paid opera singers, there are amateur singers and there are professional singers, there are young artists and there are resident artists, there are those that pay to sing internationally at programs and those that sing at regional theaters. It makes no difference, we all do the same amount of work that goes into performing in an opera.

So how does a classically trained singer establish oneself as a successful opera singer? It’s simple. By being patient with our voice to grow, for our artistry to develop, and for providing ourselves opportunities to perform every chance we can. This means constantly being heard by voice teachers, coaches, managers, directors, etc. who will tell us when they think that we are ready, but we have to ultimately decide when we feel ready. This at first means choosing which auditions to go on and at what cost. It is a running joke among opera singers that if we had a dollar every time we heard, “You have an upcoming audition? You should audition for THE VOICE,” we’d not only be rich, but it would be great performance exposure for us as singers to showcase the end-part of what we do. (more…)