Music: Diva in Disgrace

WE DON'T WANT CALLAS IN ROME! was scrawled over the posters. Said others, in tribute to Soprano Callas' famed rival: VIVA TEBALDI! On Via Nazionale, before the Hotel Quirinale—where Callas stayed in her suite—truncheon-swinging police again and again charged shouting demonstrators. On the floor of Parliament, a Deputy introduced a motion that would bar Maria Meneghini Callas from all of Italy's state-subsidized opera houses. Her offense: on opening night at the Rome Opera, Callas had walked out of a performance of Bellini's Norma after the first act, leaving behind her a glittering audience of notables, including President Giovanni Gronchi.

Diva Callas could...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!