Greece pays tribute to one of her own, Maria Callas, with the foundation a Museum-Opera Academy dedicated to the great soprano and her work. The Academy is scheduled to open in 2015, according to the Association for the Maria Callas House.
Thousands of Callas’s friends and devotees gathered at the foot of the Acropolis hill on Sunday evening for an opera gala concert organized by the Association and the Greek National Opera. The concert featured Greek and foreign soloists who issued their own versions of songs by the “Divina.”
The Maria Callas Museum is expected to attract visitors from all over the world. Considered one of the most influential opera singers of the 20th century, Callas remains an iconic and beloved figure within Greece today. “This museum is the least we can do to honor the great diva,” said Athens Mayor Yorgos Kaminis.
The proceeds of the Herodeion concert will go towards the renovation of the neoclassical house in central Athens, where Callas lived briefly before emigrating to the United States. The cost of the museum, expected to exceed one million euros, will be substantially covered by European Union funds.
The museum will offer visitors a view into Callas’ masterful expression and the opportunity to enjoy extracts of some of her more mesmerizing performances – Norma and Tosca, for instance.
A rich audio-visual exhibition with emblematic photos and interviews, along with personal objects, will be presented in two of the building’s three floors. The museum will also have a library with books and records for opera lovers. Additionally, there will be a hall for temporary exhibitions, classes and small opera concerts. The ground floor will feature a thematic museum shop as well as a bistro named La Divina, where visitors will have the chance to taste some of Callas’s favorite dishes.