La Stampa reports that the tradition of opening the La Scala season on 7 December, the feast day of Saint Ambrose (Milan’s patron), goes back only to 1951, when Callas opened the season in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani. Who knew?
Dacia Maraini reports (again) that Callas wanted to marry Pier Paolo Pasolini. “Maria wanted to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality. Her idea was rather childish. People don’t change their sexual tendencies at fifty years of age. Pier Paolo loved her a great deal, but platonically. His relationship with Maria wasn’t based on sexuality, only on sentiment.” More on Callas and Maraini here.
Pasolini’s film of Medea starring Maria Callas has just been released in the British Film Institute’s restoration in a dual-format (DVD and Blu-ray) edition in the UK and in separate editions here in the States. (Please correct me if I’m wrong: I don’t own a television set and don’t know from DVDs. That said, I would welcome a big flat-panel monitor as a Jewsmas gift.)