Giuseppe Verdi was born on 9 or 10 October 1813.
“La luce langue,” the scena for Lady Macbeth, comes from the 1867 version of Macbeth. Callas recorded it and two other Macbeth excerpts under Nicola Rescigno in 1958.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth is supposed to bring misfortune in the spoken theatre, and Macbeth the opera seems to have been unlucky for Callas, too. She had a brilliant success with it at La Scala in 1952, and she was to have sung it in San Francisco and New York, but both times, the local impresarios angrily cancelled her contract. There was also talk of her singing Macbeth under Arturo Toscanini in Busseto, but that never came to be. Though she portrayed Lady Macbeth on stage only five times, she left an indelible impression in the rôle.
Callas’s 1958 Verdi recital is, for me, one of her finest EMI recordings. This particular clip has very good sound (good for YouTube and the Internet, I mean). Callas sang music from Macbeth some twenty times in concert between 1952 and 1962.