A year in honor of great diva Maria Callas

Maria Callas is «a timeless symbol of Greek culture who belongs to the whole world,» said Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. He was speaking from the stage of the Athens Concert Hall at a tribute to the Greek diva. Agnes Baltsa sang the arias for which Callas was famous, with the Athens State Orchestra conducted by Nikos Athinaios. As Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis has announced, this is Maria Callas Year, and there will be a series of events honoring the singer, who eventually chose the love of Aristotle Onassis over the opera and her fame. The Callas Year program includes 70 recitals and concerts with 169 Greek and foreign artists that will be spread out among the Athens Concert Hall, the Athens Festival, the French Institute, the Goethe Institute, the Greek National Opera and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which will screen a documentary on her life and career. The tribute commemorates the 30th anniversary of her death. Among the distinguished spectators at the Athens Concert Hall event were Greek President Karolos Papoulias and his wife, and the culture minister, who accompanied the deputy culture minister of France, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres.

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