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Opera Diva Maria Callas' Jewels On Display At The Met

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A collection of the legendary soprano Maria Callas' on stage jewels are currently on view at The Metropolitan Opera. NY1's Clover Lalehzar filed the following report.

She was a diva in every sense. Maria Callas' on stage aura and distinctive vocal range and timbre made her one of the most versatile operatic singers of all time, and on stage, her look was as impeccable as her sound.

Now, a stunning collection of her stage jewels are on view for the first time in the U.S. at the Metropolitan Opera House. The legendary soprano exclusively wore Swarovski crystals for her performances.

"Swarovski's relationship with Callas began with the debut in Italy. It was so successful that she asked to meet with the craftsman who made her jewels," said Kim Krikorian of Swarovski.

Although Callas performed on the world's greatest opera stages, her relationship with the Metropolitan Opera was tumultuous.

"It's sadly ironic in a good way that this exhibition is taking place at the Met because it readdresses the wrongs that perhaps were perpetuated by the Met back in the sixties," said Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb.

In 1947, Callas first wore the Milanese atelier Marangoni's stage jewelry set with Swarovski crystals for the performance of La Gioconda. It went so well that the soprano superstitiously swore herself to the jewelry exclusively.

"She wanted to shine," said Krikorian. "She wanted to stand out on stage, and it was very important to her that the jewelry actually create the character, that they be a part of the scene."

And in 2007, continues to be so.

"The spirit of Callas lives this season with at the met with the wonderful sopranos that have inherited the Callas mantle," said Gelb. "And that's what set Callas apart, that is not only her singing but she was the complete artistic package of great theatricality and great voice."

"Maria Callas and Swarovski" Jewels On Stage at the Metropolitan Opera will be on view through March 3rd. For more information, log on to www.metopera.org.

- Clover Lalehzar
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