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


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We love singers here at JACOPERA and we love traditional, golden era singers. The pick this week is Teresa Berganza’s “O del mio dolce ardor” from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s little-known opera, “Paride ed Elena”. The aria is also listed in Schirmer’s Library Of Musical Classics of Twenty-Four Italian Songs And Arias Of The 17th And 18th Centuries. A book that most every classical singer would have opened around the time of their first voice lesson. This particular song holds special meaning for those learning and it has a simple quality in the vocal line that draws you in to want to know more. “Oh, desired object of my sweet ardor, the air which you breathe, at last I breathe.” While listening take a look at the sky, think of what you love most, and where it takes you.

With a modern twist: A love note was passed in class prior to Valentine’s’ Day, however, the intended note was not for the one reading, but for the one it was passed to… you cry to your mother and she says, honey, you can’t hurry love.

Ah young love, or any love for that matter, always longs for more.

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It’s Sunday, and you know what that means?

A fun singer we are crushing on today is Renata Scotto, in the role of Lauretta from Puccini’s Il Tabarro trilogy, “Gianni Schicchi”. The young Lauretta is pleading with her father to allow her to marry Rinuccio, the love of her life. Scotto sings a glorious ‘O mio babbino caro’ (‘O my beloved papa’), with great acting that’s perfect for the character and makes it clear that if he does not oblige she will throw herself off of the Ponte Vecchio, the famed bridge of Florence, into the river.

With a modern twist: Lauretta’s dad takes away her iPhone, iPad, and all internet access for a week and she is devastated because her new boyfriend just started texting regularly.

What is a girl to do…

Well, sing an aria poignantly, of course.