January 31, 2018

La Divina gets a digital makeover

maria-callas.com receives red-carpet treatment with a launch event at La Scala; new digital single released.

On 30 January at the Museum of La Scala in Milan, Warner Classics launched the Italian version of maria-callas.com, the award-winning official Maria Callas website. It joins the English and French versions of the site, which went live on 2 December 2017, the date that would have marked the legendary soprano’s 94th birthday. The German version of maria-callas.com is in preparation. 

At the launch event in Milan, this state-of-the-art digital tribute to Callas shared a space with physical mementos of the diva’s career at Italy’s greatest opera house. Her costumes and other artefacts were displayed in the exhibition Maria Callas On Stage - The Years at La Scala, which opened in September 2017 on the 40th anniversary of her death and continued until 31 January 2018.

maria-callas.com has already excited considerable international interest, generating more than 50,000 user sessions and winning three awards: the Favourite Website Award, the CSS Design Award for Website of the Day and the AWWWARD Site of the Day. Over 40% of the visits were from people aged between 18 and 34; this statistic confirms that, notably through digital media, Callas continues to exercise her magic – as much on the younger generation as on music-lovers born during her lifetime. Her global reach is indicated by the large volume of visitors from China and India. 

In Autumn 2017 Warner Classics released the 42-CD set Maria Callas Live: Remastered Live Recordings 1949-1964, which complements the landmark 2014 release of Callas Remastered: The Complete Studio Recordings. It is one of Callas’s studio recordings that has been chosen for a new digital single (for streaming and download on all platforms), available this Friday, 2 February. It is the hauntingly lyrical aria ‘Casta diva’ from Bellini’s Norma, the opera Callas performed most frequently in her career, and in which she continues to reign supreme.

The single is taken from her second complete recording of the opera, made in 1960 at La Scala, the theatre which hosted the premiere of Norma in 1831. Conducted by soprano’s mentor, Tullio Serafin, ‘Casta diva’ brings a wealth of refinement and nuance from Callas as she sings the Druid priestess’s prayer to the moon goddess. The artwork for the single is taken from maria-callas.com – the page celebrating ‘Prima donna at La Scala’.