You know very well that at the beginning of the [twentieth] century Médée was occasionally sung by Mazzoleni, who had a peach of a voice. Well, yes, they clapped [sic] her, but that was about it. There were not the cultural and historical demands which have enabled us today to say: at last I’ve heard Cherubini’s Médée as I’ve always imagined it should be.
Robert Seletsky and others claim that Callas’s importance for the revival of neglected works has been exaggerated, that Rossini’s Armida was “the only true Callas ‘revival.’”
Mr. Seletsky, with whom I have corresponded, is a scrupulous and exceedingly well-informed writer, and his arguments cannot be dismissed out of hand. Still, I think that this particular assertion is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees, as Celletti’s remarks demonstrate.
(That said, Médée, Schmédée: the mishmash that Callas sang has little to do with Cherubini’s wondrous score!)
On a separate note (as it were): So many people continue to claim that Callas “lost her voice” as a direct result of her weight loss. To which I say: Listen to how she sang—fearlessly, unsparingly—and tell me how she could not have damaged her voice!
This snippet from Medea is from Dallas, 1958. Read more about Callas as Medea in opera and cinema.