January 3, 1956

CALLAS AND TEBALDI: (From a commentary by Eleni Vlachou): «I read yesterday that Renata Tebaldi could be coming to sing in Greece this summer. The organizers of the Athens Festival are in negotiations with the Italian soprano, who is currently much in the news. Much of her glory is naturally due to her wonderful voice, but the publicity surrounding her at the moment is partly due to her feud with Maria Menegini-Callas. Our compatriot Callas, also a soprano, is one of the greatest divas of opera, so a savage battle is being waged between Milan’s La Scala and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the home opera houses of the respective singers. The feud has pitted thousands of music fans, critics and admirers against each other and attracted much attention in newspapers and magazines that are not usually interested in operas and prima donnas… Anonymous letters pour in to each of the theaters before every premiere, threatening either Maria or Renata, as the case may be, with annihilation, whistles, bombardment or an avalanche of eggs. It is a war of nerves, a war between critics and opera fans that has created two fanatical camps.»

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