Sunday, January 2, 2011

Maria Callas Biography: Early Years

Evangelia, Maria, Jacinthy and George Kalogeropoulos
1923 - 2nd December
Maria Anna Sophia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou is born in New York. Her parents, Evangelia and George Kalogeropoulos, had emigrated from Greece to Long Island, New York, in August 1923.

George Kalogeropoulos sets up a pharmacy in a Greek quarter of Manhattan; he changes the family name to Callas.

Maria is given her first piano lessons; later in life she is able to study all her roles at the piano without the help of a repetiteur.

The Callas parents separate. Evangelia returns to Greece with her two daughters Yacinthy (known as Jackie) and Maria and changes the family name back to Kalogeropoulos.
Maria at 13 with her mother

Maria Kalogeropoulou (Callas) is admitted to the National Conservatory in Athens despite being younger than the minimum age requirement of 16; she begins her studies under Maria Trivella.

1938 - 11th April
Maria Callas appears with fellow students in first public recital.
Maria Callas in 1938
1939 - 2nd April
Maria makes her stage debut as Santuzza in a student production of Cavalleria rusticana and wins the Conservatory’s prize. Elvira de Hidalgo becomes Maria’s teacher and concentrates on coloratura training.

Maria Callas's career starts, Maria Callas Biography Part II