Item description for The Colors of Callas: Reflections of an Icon by Taylor Pero...
Taylor Pero, best selling Hollywood biographer, and researcher Patrick Byrne have created a compelling picture of opera's "prima donna assoluta," Maria Callas. In it we explore the vibrantly painted chapters of her life: the colors of Callas.
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A Fresh Insight Apr 25, 2004
Book Review: THE COLORS OF CALLAS: Reflections of an Icon Authors: Taylor Pero and Patrick C. Byrne
Review by: Carl H. Berggren
"The Colors of Callas" is more than just another book about celebrity.
Authors Taylor Pero and Patrick C. Byrne, through visual word pictures and fascinating stories have illustrated the eternal dilemma facing nearly every great artist the world has ever known: the conflict of owning one¹s self and one's art versus the frenzy of friends, family, and the public to possess their share of the artist and the art which sets them apart.
The purchase price comes to the artist in a variety of forms: head-spinning compliments, unbelievable wealth, public acclaim and lavish recognition so acute as to smother the victim. With enthusiastic graciousness, many seek to feed upon the glory and possessions of those Famous Ones who pour out their lives to satisfy the expectations and pleasures of others.
In the case of Callas, her acute perfectionism and devotion to her art resulted in consternation among her peers as well as her devouring public. They fought against her with recrimination of her stubborn insistence on recreating the lyric and music exactly as first written by the composer. What they failed to applaud was that it was that same insistence on perfection which propelled Callas to enthronement as the world's greatest coloratura. Over time, Callas¹s great indomitable spirit was brought down by those whom she had politically alienated, by self-serving operatic controllers, and by the grueling performance demands which bit by bit shaved off the fine edges of her glorious vocal range and nuances. All of this added to the stigma of being mistress to the world¹s richest and most reviled man, Aristotle Onassis, and the public humiliation she suffered as her vocal instrument slowly abandoned her.
The vivid portrayal by the authors, without bias, of colorful events that paraded across Callas¹s lifescreen, is a must-read for all who seek insight into the life of a great artist and the price one pays for the seeming riches and privilege they enjoy.
A poem for the expendable Feb 23, 2004
I found this book to be a melancholy poem to the expendable, in this case the great artist Maria Callas. Callas is gone and Verdi and Bellini live on, and there will always be others to sing their music. No one will ever sing them like La Callas. I already knew that, but I didn't really know or realize the dizzy spiral that was Callas celebrity and social life. It was a change to read an account of this woman that seemed a bit irreverant, yet respectful of her immense talent. She certainly had her vocal flaws, and the author seems to lay them out with no apologies. I think I like her a little better now that I have seen her, warts and all. Thank God she didn't write her own memoirs. Most celebrated singers and their syncophants put down some really boring stuff. This was a breath of fresh air, rather than the ususal litany of virtues.
Alvaro in St. Cloud
"Its nice to finally meet you, Maria." Jan 6, 2004
"The Colors of Callas" was a real treat for this opera lover. Even as a child, I understood she was a unique talent with that incredible voice. She had such passion for her craft. She became the diva of all divas. What I did not know, was how and why she was so driven to such perfection. Taylor Pero and Patrick Byrne have provided the answer, with this insightful and fascinating biography. They took me behind the scenes of both her professional and private lives. What an intriguing and satisfying journey! In showing "The Colors of Callas", they invited me to witness the many complexities that created this empowered woman, this diva of the opera, this Maria! There never has been, nor ever will be, another like her. Thanks to Taylor and Patrick, now I know why.
Classical in San Francisco - I loved it! Dec 8, 2003
I belong to a classical music group in the city by the bay, and much comment has been made about the compelling nature of this book. I'm writing because an ignorant person has written several scathing reviews about this and other Callas biographies. His opinion is not to be counted due to the unblanced and vicious nature of all his Callas reviews. "The Colors of Callas" ranks among the most humane and sensitive I have added to my collection. Highly recommended by all of us.
Fame Always Brings Lonliness Dec 7, 2003
Maria Callas certainly had fame,to the extent that it forced her life in a direction that she seemed powerless to change. This was the impression I had after finishing this book. I have most of the bios. of the divas of the twentieth century on my shelves. A great number of them are of the "and then Madame sang this" genre. Yawn. Others seem to want to analyze the person behind the voice. Fine and dandy, to a point. Yet others want to give us a dissertation on the musical genius of the artist. Scholarly. I found this a good "read", in the sense that there was enough of the gossip, background, and talent that went into making Callas what she was, a household word during the 50's and 60's.I also found there werer topics in the diva's life that I found nowhere else in the 20, or so, other books I have on Maria Callas. Of particular interest was the chapter on the concerts she did during the period of her break with the Metropolitan Opera. I have read better books on Maria Callas, but I found myself enjoyijng this very much as I would a delicious, and honest, hamburger, as compared to an overdone gourmet meal.