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The Callas Imprint: A Centennial Biography                      2 Dec 2023

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Coating opera's roles in opulence, Maria Callas (1923-1977) is a lyrical enigma.


Seductress, villainess, and victor, queen and crouching slave, she is a gallery of guises instrumentalists would kill to engineer… made by a single voice.

But while her craftsmanship has stood the test of time, Callas’ image has contested defamation at the hands of dirt-diggers and opportunists: saboteurs of beauty.

Twelve years in the making, this voluminous labour of love explores the singer with the reverence she dealt her heroines. The Callas Imprint: A Centennial Biography reaps never-before-seen correspondence and archival documents worldwide to illustrate the complex of their multi-faceted creator - closing in on her self-contradictions, self-descriptions, attitudes and habits with empathic scrutiny. It swivels readers through the singer's on- and offstage scenes and flux of fears and dreams... the double life of all performers.

In its unveiling of the everyday it rolls a vivid film reel starring friends and foes and nobodies: vignettes that make up life.

It's verity. It's meritable storytelling.

Not unlike the Callas art.

Cover for The Callas Imprint: A Centennial Biography by Renée Clarke.

Photo credits: © Erio Piccagliani/Teatro alla Scala

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Praise for The Callas Imprint: A Centennial Biography

"Is it fair to measure a biography against its subject? In this case, yes. This book resembles Callas’ masterful ease on stage, the artistic precision-passion balance she manifests, a reward of the many overtime rehearsal hours for which Callas was often criticized by co-stars… The result archives nearly everything ever documented about and is as full-bodied, that is, polished as well as unvarnished, as Maria Callas."—Mari Carlson, Midwest Book Review

"A triple decryption—biographical, artistic and psychological... This work is not just one more book about this overexposed subject; quite the opposite—it finally completes our understanding."—Christophe Rizoud, Forum Opéra

"Sophia Lambton's meticulously researched, intense, lyrical magnum opus challenges the myths surrounding Maria fabricated by the press. This erudite biography doesn't just explore her life. Lambton shines a spotlight on Callas' craft critically evaluating the opera star's singing with consummate care and precision down to the minutest detail and vocal technique behind each aria and dramatic role."Good Night to Read Blog

"After being initially daunted by the size of the book, I can now say, hand on heart, that I enjoyed learning about this incredible woman. I must also praise the author for her painstaking dedication in bring this story into print."—Milly Reynolds, Author 

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