To imagine that I have anything new to say about Maria Callas’ 1957 performance of Anna Bolena at La Scala is sheer pomposity. Enough ink and pixels (along with some blood and tears judging by the fervency of the Callas Cult) have been spilled. La Scala’s Memories series has released a handsome hardcover book and CD set, commemorating the evening with the original program, essays, libretto, and plenty of pictures.
To say the least, it was an exciting night: a gala with stars, enormous sets, and a major comeback for a neglected bel canto queen. Callas was joined by Giulietta Simionato (Giovanna Seymour), Gianni Raimondi (Riccardo Percy), and Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (Enrico VIII), with Gianandrea Gavazzeni at the podium. Read more »