||December 2 Maria Anna Sophie Cecilia
Kalogeropoulos is born in New York . Her parents, George
and Evangelia Kalogeropoulos had emigrated froom Greece
to Long Island, New York in August 1923.
||George Kalogeropoulos sets up a pharmachy
in a Greek quarter of Manhattan and changes the family
name to Callas.
||Maria is given her fist paino 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 and changes the
family name back to Kalogeropoulos.
||Maria Kalogeropoulos is admitted to
the National Conservatoire in Athens despite being younger
than the minimun age requirement of 16, and begins her
studies under Maria Trivella.
April 11: Appears with fellow students in first pubblic
||April 2 Maria makes her stage debut
as Santuzza in a student production of "Cavalleria Rusticana"
and wins the Conservatoires prize.
Elvira de Hidalgo becomes Marias teacher at the
Conservatoire and concentrates on coloratura training.
||October 21 First engagement with the
Lyric Theatre company, singing songs in Shakespeares
Merchant of Venice at the Royal Theatre in Athens.
||January 21 Makes her professional operatic
debut as Beatrice in "Boccaccio" at the Palas Cinema with
the Lyric Theatre company with whom she will sing in ""Tosca"",
"Tiefland", "Cavalleria Rusticana", "Fidelio", and "Der
Bettelstudent" during the next four years.
||August 27 Sings "Tosca" for the first
time in Greek at an open-air performance at the Park Summer
Theatre Kaftmonos Square.
||The occupying forces lose control over
Greece and the British fleet arrives in Piraeus. Maria
Kalogeropoulos decides to returns to the USA and find
||August 3 Gives a "farewell"
concert in Athens, her first solo recital, to raise money
for her journey to the USA.
September Returns to New York and takes up the name of
December : Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera, but fails
to secure an engagement.
||Tries unsuccessfully to find work, but
continues strenuous vocal pratice to perfect her technique.
Meets agent Eddie Bagarozy. Accepts engagement to sing
in Turandot in Chicago in January 1947 with a cast of
celebrated European singers in a new company to be founded
by Bagarozy and Ottavio Scotto, an Italian impresario.
||January: The Chicago company goes bankrupt
a few days before its scheduled opening performance. Nicola
Rossi Lemeni, the Italian bass, is also a member of the
company and introduces Callas to Giovanni Zanatello, who
is in the U.S. to find singers for the 1947 Verona Opera
Festival of which he is the Artistic Director. He engages
Callas to sing in "La Gioconda".
June 27: Callas arrives in Naples and goes the next day
to Verona to begin rehearsals for "La Gioconda". A few
days later she meets Giovanni Battista Meneghini, a wealthy
italian industrialist and opera lover.
August 2: Makes her Italian debut in the Arena at Verona
as La Gioconda conducted by Tullio Serafin. The performances
are successful enough, but Callas makes no special impression
and the expected offers of further work do not materialise.
December 30 : Sings Isolde in Italian under Serafin at
La Fenice in Venice and this leads to further engagements
in Italy, mainly in Turandot.
||November 30: In Florence, Callas sings
"Norma" for the first time- an opera she will eventually
perform more than any other during her career.
||January 19 Having just sung her first
Brunhilde in "Die Walkure" eleven days earlier. Callas,
at the insistance of Serafin, replaces the indisposed
Margherita Carosio as Elvira in "I Puritani" at La Fenice.
This is the turning point in Callass career and
the start of her involvement in rehabilition of the Italian
bel canto repertoire.
April 21: Marries Meneghini in Verona and sails that night
for Argentina to sing at the "Teatro Colon"
in Buenos Aires.
Helped by Meneghini as both husband and manager, Callas
develops her career in Italy and abroad during the next
||December 7: Callas opens the seasons
at La Scala, Milan in "I Vespri Siciliani" to great acclaim.
During the next seven years La Scala will be the scene
of her greatest triumphs in a wide range of roles.
||July 29 Callas signs a recording contract
with EMI and in August makes a test recording of "Non
mi dir" from "Don Giovanni".
||February : First commercial recording
for EMI as Lucia di Lammermoor recorded in Florence. Later
in the year Callas begins a series of complete opera recordings
at La Scala starting with "I Puritani" and "Cavalleria
Rusticana" with Serafin, and famous ""Tosca"" conducted
by Victor de Sabata.
||In a short space of time Callas loses
30 kilos and her figure changes dramaticaly. She records
a further four complete operas at La Scala and her first
two recital discs in London.
November : She returns to the USA to sing ""Norma"", "La
Traviata" and "Lucia di Lammermoor" in Chicago.
December : She opens the season at La Scala in "La Vestale",
working for the first time with theatre and film director
||October 29: Sings for the first time
at the Metropolitan in New York in ""Norma"", followed
by ""Tosca"" and "Lucia".
||Elsa Maxwell, the American society hostess,
introduces, the Meneghinis to the Greek shipping magnate
Aristotile Onassis at a party in Venice.
||January 2: Claming illness , Callas
walks out after the first act of a gala performance of
""Norma"" in Rome attended by the President of Italy and
all Rome society. She is harshly criticised in the media.
May: At La Scala during performances of "Il Pirata" she
quarrels with the general director Antonio Ghiringhelli,
and decides not to appear again at La Scala while he remains
November 6: Rudolf Bing director of the Metropolitan Opera,
fires Callas after failing to reach agreement on performances
for the next season.
December 19: She makes a sensational debut in Paris in
a gala concert at the Paris Opera. Celebrities in the
audience include Onassis who begins to take interest in
||By this time Callas has fewer professional
engagements. She and Meneghini are invited for a cruise
in July on the Christina, Onassiss yacht, with several
other guests including Churchill. By the end of the cruise
Callas and Onassis are lovers and the Meneghini marriage
||Callas gives up the stage altogether
and devotes herself to the international high life with
Onassis. By 1962 she is performing only at few concerts.
||January: Zeffirelli persuades Callas
to return to opera at Covent Garden in a memorable new
production of "Tosca" that is highly praised on all counts.
May : Callas appears in Paris in "Norma", directed by
Zeffirelli, in a spectatcular staging that is to be her
last new production. Despite some vocal problems, the
performances are succesfull overall.
||February: She sings nine performances
of "Tosca" in Paris.
March : She makes a triumphant return to the Metropolitan
in New York in two performances of "Tosca".
May She undertakes a further series of five performances
of "Norma" in Paris. She feels tired but does not want
On May 29 she finishes Act 2 Scene I pratically in a coma.
The final scene is cancelled.
July: She is scheduled to sing four performances of "Tosca"
at Covent Garden. She is advised on medical grounds to
withdraw but she decides to sing just one, choosing the
Royal Gala on July 5. This is the final operatic preformance
of her career.
||Callas reliquishes her American citizenship
and takes Greek nationality. Thereby technically annulling
her marriage to Meneghini. She expects Onassis to marry
her but he does not.
||October 20: Onassis marries Jacqueline
Kennedy, widow of assassinated US president John F. Kennedy,
after having cooled his relationship with Callas.
||June-July: Callas plays "Medea" in non
operatic film of the play by Euripides directed by Pier
Paolo Pasolini. It is not a commercial success.
||Callas gives a series of Master Classes
at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. She meets
up again with her old colleague, the tenor Giuseppe di
Stefano, and the two become close friends.
||Di Stefano persuades Maria Callas to
undertake an extensive international recitals tour with
him to raise money for medical treatment for his daughter.
The tour, a personal triumph but an artistic failure,
begins in Hamburg on October 25 and continues into 1974.
||November 11 The final concert of the
tour with Di Stefano takes place in Sapporo, Japan. This
is Callass last public performance. The liaison
with Di Stefano finishes.
||Onassis dies, following a gall blader
operation. Callas is by now a virtual recluse in Paris.
||September 16 Callas, died in Paris -
but the cause of her death still remains unclear.