Books: The Grandest Diva

MARIA CALLAS: THE WOMAN BEHIND THE LEGEND by Arianna Stassinopoulos; Simon & Schuster; 383 pages; $15.95

Franco Zeffirelli said that she did as much as Verdi for Italian opera. Conductor Carlo Maria Giulini said, "It is no fabricated legend. In my entire experience of the theater, I know of no artist like Maria Callas." Her private life, much of it conducted in public, was also the stuff of legend. She had the iron whim and comet-like will, the greed, love and hatred of someone strong enough to overturn the laws of life.

Her first and...

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