Talk:Maria Callas

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Former featured article candidate Maria Callas is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 13, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
June 10, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted
Current status: Former featured article candidate
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Gay Icon Project[edit]

In my effort to merge the now-deleted list from the article Gay icon to the Gay icons category, I have added this page to the category. I engaged in this effort as a "human script", adding everyone from the list to the category, bypassing the fact-checking stage. That is what I am relying on you to do. Please check the article Gay icon and make a judgment as to whether this person or group fits the category. By distributing this task from the regular editors of one article to the regular editors of several articles, I believe that the task of fact-checking this information can be expedited. Thank you very much. Philwelch 20:14, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Just because there was a scene with a recording of hers in Philadelphia doesn't mean she's a "gay icon." I disagree with you greatly and am sure she would as well. I feel so bad for these great people who are degraded because a few people call them "gay icons."NewYork1956 (talk) 09:10, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Being a student of Opera in San Francisco, I would argue that her status as a gay icon goes far beyond a scene in Philadelphia. Can anyone think of a credible source for this information? Captbaritone (talk) 18:48, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Callas's gay icon status extends beyond "Philadelphia." She was the subject of gay playwright Terrence McNally's "Master Class" and is important in his play "The Lisbon Traviata." Diuscorvus (talk) 21:35, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

She was extremely important in the LGBT community and still is. It is not just because of the scene in Philadelphia. She bacame an icon because of her ability to play outsiders.TheGeniusPrince (talk) 12:12, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

"...because of her ability to play outsiders." ?? What a load of codswallop. Could Renata Tibaldi not also play outsiders? And what about Anna Netrebko? Does she not also play outsiders? And Leontyne Pryce? Has she not played outsiders in her time? And Joan Sutherland? Did she not? Montserrat Caballe? ...Outsiders? And what about some of the tenors? Do they not play outsiders sometimes, as the occasion demands? Baritones too, mutadis mutandis? And what about... of well, you get my drift I think. Bickle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:42, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Sounds completely arbitrary to me. Categories are helpful but hardly of earth-shattering importance whatever one's orientation. Mike Hayes (talk) 09:14, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Maria Callas is also an icon of the Wroclaw Tiddlywinks Club. The membership consists of three elderly ladies, one of whom is widowed, the other two married, though they attend without their husbands, two elderly gentlemen, one single, the other married, though his wife doesn't attend, four young people, a man and three women, two of whom may be married, though it is unexpressed. The sexual orientation of this group of people is entirely unknown and not regarded as of any relevance to either their weekly tiddlywinks gettogethers or their love of Maria Callas recordings. Though this might be of marginal interest to someone compiling a document of every last tidbit of irrelevant ephemera remotely connected with the name , art of interest of Maria Callas, what it has to do with an encyclopaedia article about Maria Callas is beyond me and ought to be beyond everyone else who pauses a moment to consider this matter before moving on to other, more important things. Bickle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

There is a great Aesop tale about a fox repeatedly jumping (and failing) to reach a bunch of grapes hanging from above. Eventually, tired and demoralised, she walks away saying: "Nah! Who cares, the grapes were not ripe anyway." I feel the LBGT community does something similar. They know, everybody does, that Maria Callas was not (even by the remotest chance) gay (or whatever) but they will stop at nothing to include big names in order to advance their agenda. IMHO, this is sad. Just be who you are, fair minded people will side with you and the constitution protects you but stretching and twisting and what have you anything that will promote your public image is at best detrimental to your own cause. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Tessitura vs. Range[edit]

When speaking about a voice, range is somewhat different from tessitura. Some voices might have a wide range, but be more comfortable in a low tessitua. For example, a soprano might be able to hit a high E, but the range in which the voice most comfortably sits can be in the middle and low-high registers. Bartoli, for example, has hit high E-flats in recital, but her voice has a low tessitura. In contrast, there are voices that cannot go above a high C, but they can sing in the high register comfortably for extended periods of time (think of Nilsson or Rysanek). Roles, similarly, can vary in tessitura: Lucia di Lammermoor, as commonly performed, goes all the way up to high E-flat, but most of the music is very "centrale," lying in the middle range. Turandot, in contrast, does not go above a high C, but a large portion of the role is sung in the high register, giving it a high tessitura. When speaking of the span of a voice, one must use the word "range"; however, one can add that the voice's most comfortable tessitura was in the high or low or middle registers.Shahrdad (talk) 01:49, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you. However, you have not explained how this discussion applies to the Maria Callas article. Is there some sort of change to the article in question that you are proposing?4meter4 (talk) 14:26, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Someone had made changes to the section "Vocal Size and Range," substituting "tessitura" for "range." I reversed the changes (thought I forgot to log in) and restored the word "range." The section dealing with whether or not Callas sang a high F in performance was also deleted and has been restored. I think if you look at edit history, you will be able to see it.Shahrdad (talk) 14:39, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Ethan Mordden[edit]

Ethan Mordden wrote a novel based on the life of Maria Callas. Perhaps this could be mentioned in this article. --13Peewit (talk) 08:19, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Much, much better love![edit]

Croatian writer Giancarlo Kravar: Love is a much, much better if you are not married, said one of the most famous opera singer Maria Callas, first woman of Greek Shipowner and billionaire Aristotle Onasis. I do not know what about love thinks Onasis second and John Kennedy first women Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, but for Maria Callas: Sirtaki! (talk) 01:50, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

In English, please? Ephraem 03:06, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I understood what he said, but I'd need to see an exact source. Was this an interview he did with her, or what? I have seen that quote repeated for many years and never seen any proof that she actually ever said it. --Bluejay Young (talk) 14:02, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Dermatomyositis/Degenerative disease as the cause of death[edit]

According to La Stampa and a study conducted by Italian specialists Franco Fussi and Nico Paolillo, that relies on medical records and the latest audio technology, Callas was suffering from a rare degenerative disease called "dermatomyositis". Dermatomyositis was responsible for her vocal decline and untimely death. Perhaps this should be included in the main article.13:33, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

edits ruin part of article and other[edit]

added to this article are many paragraphs discussing Callas's voice and its loss of volume etc in later years and those paragraphs discuss technically sounding terms and arguments with no agreement about any of it ... and prove the point that no one understands or agrees much at all about any of that ... and key to this discussion was a former section, i had put in esp about spiritual connection that powers such opera greats as Callas, the reason for her being called 'el divina' , etc and i here add that info again and mention that in my previous comments i mentioned another example of spirit powering speech in recalling that st columba the irish / scot saint could use this spirit force and speak to a crowd 10,000 with all including those in the back hearing clearly his words, and the same for an opera star, when so connected (and having NOTHING to do with a julliard developed iron diaphragm and nothing to do at all with Callas's extra weight or esp fat that some argue allowed her to PUSH and so gain power for singing at her best), as the spirit is there all about us and can give small opera level power which even then amazes or it can / could give the power to create as e.g. a whole mountain and then is the power of 10,000 H bombs all at once... and so this subject also is not followed or understood either or agreed upon either , and if you read and so decide to improve the article by realizing that those new paragraphs do NOT agree on anything and so are worthless in explaining anything to do with Callas';s voice you might consider that the spirit answer should be added back with a few sentences of explanation to show that it IS the main connection, and force by any opera star of any special ability... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Maria mostly attributed her ability to a lot of practice. There certainly are opera singers who believe in the spiritual aspect but it's kind of a folk belief as you yourself point out. if you wanted to put that in an article about Maria you'd have to cite a book, interview or article from a notable source like Opera News or something, where someone knowledgeable about opera spoke about this belief. --Bluejay Young (talk) 14:14, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
BLUEJAY, on this subject see article paragraph 'onasis and final years' the last few lines of that paragraph as follows which explain Callas view of this spiritual component as something you can't understaand (and give citation no. 68 as the source) " I once said to her "It must be a very enviable thing to be Maria Callas." And she said, "No, it's a very terrible thing to be Maria Callas, because it's a question of trying to understand **something you can never really understand." She couldn't really explain what she did. It was all done by **instinct. It was something embedded deep within her.[68]" MY adding ** (talk) 20:22, 27 April 2014 (UTC)mr jay sr
SEE athena article (athena is depicted as having symbol of labrys on her or aegis - both representing God OR spiritual connection)

and see under athena talk page last paragraph re spiritual connection explanation lil labrys sr aka CMP...AO (talk) 04:17, 16 August 2014 (UTC) lil bo peep dead poet haaa rumppppppppp !! !!

File:Callas's Vocal Range.svg - OTRS request[edit]

Folks, we just received an e-mail at OTRS saying that the red dot signifying the lower end of the range is not clear in the thumbnail version - and I couldn't see it either until I clicked the thumbnail for the larger version, where it is still not very clear (red on black is the problem). I also replaced the JPG version with the SVG version to see if that helps, but it does not. The uploader of the JPG version appears to be no longer active on Commons and the SVG uploader has not contributed recently (but I did leave them a message). My SVG manipulation skills are non-existent, so I was wondering whether someone could take a look at it to see if it can be made clearer, perhaps by using a different colour for the bottom of the range marker (maybe yellow which would stand out better against the black), or by adding a red circle around the red dot? Thanks.--ukexpat (talk) 14:03, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Help now requested at commons:Commons:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop.--ukexpat (talk) 14:16, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
And received, thanks very much!--ukexpat (talk) 14:25, 22 March 2013 (UTC)


I'm a bit reluctant to suggest major additions to such a long article, but I can't believe that there is no discussion of her recording history, and why so few stereo recordings of Callas were made. Bhami (talk) 23:57, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Greek soprano[edit]

The first sentence is unfortunately reverted by a user claiming it would better stand if she's considered an American-born Greek soprano, which is true but not necessary as per the definition in WP:OPENPARA. Saying she was American citizen for 3/4 of her life does not give any incentive to circumvent the rule since she moved to Greece at the age of 14 and received her musical education in Athens. Furthermore, she's always been considered a Greek soprano rather than an American one and she renounced her American citizenship when attaining the Greek one. Hence, it's not necessary to put any force and create artificial significance of her birthplace through the means of violating one of the basic biography rules on Wikipedia. If it really matters that she was born in the United States, the beginning sentence of the second paragraph in the intro provides enough information about it.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 15:55, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

I am not saying she should be considered an American-born Greek soprano; I'm saying she WAS an American-born Greek soprano. For the ENTIRETY of her stage career, from her first days on the opera stage in 1942 to her last performance on July 5, 1965, Callas was an American citizen. In addition, she was referred to by all contemporaneous references as an American soprano and not a Greek soprano. Encyclopedia Britannica refered to her as "American Soprano" during her career and now refers to her as "American-born Greek operatic soprano". She assumed Greek citizenship only in 1966 after her career was over, in her own words "because anyone not married in the Greek Orthodox Church is not married." It would be both false and misleading to refer to her merely as a Greek soprano, which would put her in the same category as Nafsika Galanou and Zozó Remmoundou rather than the international figure that she was. Callas was of Greek parentage, but American born and raised and educated till age 13, and she remined an American Citizen and performed as an American citizen during her entire career. You could call her Greek-American soprano or Greek-educated Ameican soprano, or as the article has it, American-born Greek soprano. All of these would be more accurate and truthful than callng her merely a Greek soprano. Shahrdad (talk) 13:56, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Furthermore, when I looked into the section you cited, it clearly says "the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable." Going by these guidelines, we should call Callas an American soprano, since she became known when she was an American Citizen, and she spent her entire career on stage as an Ameican citizen. However, that would not acknowledge either her Greek heritage, Greek education, or Greek citizenship near the end of her life. Calling her an American-born Greek soprano is an excellent compromise. Otherwise, we should simply call her an American Soprano, which she was for her whole operatic career.Shahrdad (talk) 18:54, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't deny the fact she was an American-born Greek soprano, but WP:OPENPARA explicitly states that wordings of the sort "X-born Y" are not intended in the article's first sentence. If your primary argument is that she spent most of her life and career as an American citizen, then you might be interested to consider her an American-Greek soprano or simply an American soprano. As for the citation "the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable.", don't forget that she was permanent resident of Greece since the age of 14, acquired her complete musical education in Athens, and became notable when living there. All of these facts comply perfectly with the citation you've extracted out of the rule. After all, the citizenship is only a tiny and insignificant sheet of paper that doesn't make anyone "human", "famous", "genius" or anything else nor represents anyone's self-esteem. You don't need to have a Greek citizenship to be Greek, as you don't need a French citizenship to be French or a Spanish citizenship to be Spanish. I also cannot find anywhere that the first sentence should always incline on citizenships nor that this "excellent compromise" was reached through a discussion involving other users.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 18:53, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Maria CALLAS became notable in 1947 in Italy as an American Citizen. She was known only locally in Greece and under the name Kalogeropoulos, NOT Callas. So going by those facts, we should call her an American soprano. If you ask most of the public even at the height of her fame who Maria Kalogeropoulos was, they wouldn't have known. The most highly respected encyclopedia of them all, Encyclopedia Britannica also calls her an "American born Greek operatic soprano," which to me is the most fair and accurate description of who she was. Shahrdad (talk) 02:21, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Please don't raise the tone and remain civil in the discussion. You're not the owner of the article nor the one who has the ultimate right to watch the edits and react on the validity of the changes which have others made. It also doesn't mean that you're most knowledgeable on the topic and that your opinion in a conflict should always conclude the discussion. Wordings of the sort "X-born Y" are no more prescribed, partially because the place of birth is evident from the article's intro and partially because it underlines the previous citizenship that, in most cases, is not seen significant to stand in the article. Proving her significance spanning more time as being American citizen rather than Greek would have to be met with a more neutral wording than simply referring to her American citizenship as significant at the time of her birth. What you're trying to do all the time is to use strong arguments to prove that she was American-born. Once again, you might be interested to reconsider wordings like "American-Greek" or simply "American"; the solution of this problem has to be seen behind "Greek", "American" or "American-Greek", but surely not "American-born Greek". Furthermore, I removed the mention of citizenships or nationalities in the article's first sentence to keep a more neutral wording while the issue is still ongoing, but got reverted from a user who undid it to an older version considering her simply as "Greek". Finally, please don't wave your own opinion as a rationale when you're involved in a dispute, which should, frankly, involve other users to say their thoughts to resolve the problem.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 09:31, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
P.S. Encyclopedia Britannica is not a primary source to be relevant enough on Wikipedia. Since your behaviour here is nothing else than one of a sacrosanct, you have to be already familiar with primary sources that can prove it.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 09:39, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
My edit was anew undid to the version saying she was "Greek" but not to "American-born Greek". Thus, it's probable that someone else is aware of "Greek soprano" being the best solution.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:35, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I have no problems if you want to call her a Greek-American soprano or American soprano of Greek parentage. But to call her simply a Greek soprano, when for the entirety of her stage career she retained her American citizenship, would be simply inaccurate. And if you watch interviews from 1954 and 1956 when she made her American and Met debuts respectively, she speaks of the United States as "home". Shahrdad (talk) 12:49, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Regarding what Callas herself said: see WP:PSTS. Toccata quarta (talk) 14:28, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

As late as July 21, 1963, in a letter to Mrs John F. Kennedy, Maria Callas referred to herself as "being an American."— Preceding unsigned comment added by Brian Joseph Morgan (talkcontribs) 03:47, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

WP:PSTS. Toccata quarta (talk) 07:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. You can see copies of Callas's letter to Mrs. Kennedy where she refers to herself "as being an American." I guess we can have no better source than Callas herself. Here is a link to the letter. (talk)
Again: WP:PSTS. Toccata quarta (talk) 04:41, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I have a question regarding the info about Maria Callas's Wikipedia page.................In the "Early Life" section, the paragraphs state that Maria was born at a hospital in Manhattan. One assumes "Manhattan" is New York...............yet a few small paragraph further down, the info states that her father decided to take the family to America. What other "Manhattan" is there ? How could her father take the family to America (when Maria was still a child) when they were already IN America (where Maria was born) ??? Did the family go to Greece immediately after Maria's birth, or possibly 2 or 3 years later - that was then make the latter statement correct - about the family going to America. [Gail Noon, San Pedro, CA, 01 June 2015] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Maria's father took the family to New York in 1923; later that year, Maria was born there. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:46, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
To say the truth, she was more Italian than American. Although born in New York, she became notable in Italy, was Italian educated as much as Greek, married to an Italian, lived in Italy for the most part of her career and held Italian citizenship until 1966 (same time as the American one). However, with all these links, there's no mention in the article making reference for her "Italianess". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Something missing ??[edit]

There's a section starting with "She was christened ..." The pronoun is without direct reference, since the sentence before deals with the family settling in the States. I didn't edit it because I thought it might be that a troll deleted something in between. Could someone plse. straighten this out. THKS. -- (talk) 05:46, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Good call; I'm not sure how it ended up that way [EDIT: actually, now that I look for it, I see that someone simply stuck the christening info in randomly [1]], but I moved the text to fix the sense and chronology. Softlavender (talk) 06:06, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow. That was fast. Thank you. If you're still looking, could you maybe fix the Education section, too. The text all of a sudden calls Maria Mary. Probably to distinguish it from her teacher who's first name was also Maria. But Maria Callas is not generally known as Mary. She was actually named neither as the article explained. Hopping into the page at that text one does a double take trying to figure out who's who. (talk) 06:27, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, I think I've changed or clarified the ones that needed it. Softlavender (talk) 06:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Related (in the "something missing?" sort of way), is there a reason that there's no Bio Infobox? As far as I've seen they are pretty standard on all biographical articles, so why none here? (talk) 16:32, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Infoboxes are neither mandatory nor forbidden. They are, however, controversial in articles about artists, especially those in the field of classical music. See Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes for what is probably the widest discussion on this issue. Toccata quarta (talk) 16:52, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Callas was called Mary by her family until she went to Italy to make her career. In the book about her early years, she was consistently refereed to as Mary, so I kept using that name when I wrote this. But what they called her is really irrelevant. I think just changing it to Callas was an excellent call. Shahrdad (talk) 00:35, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Vocal decline/Deborah Voigt quotation[edit]

The Vocal decline section is quite long, but most of it is informative and pertinent. I did, however, remove the paragraph-long blockquote by Deborah Voigt because it was not directly relevant to Callas. (I searched back through revision history but couldn't find who originally contributed it - is there a tool that can do that?) I see the logic of having put it in — like Callas, Voigt lost a lot of of weight and it affected her physical vocal production. But Voigt's quotation doesn't mention Callas at all, it only describes her own experience. Therefore I think it strays too far from the subject at hand and needed to be removed, particularly given the lengthiness of the section. (note: comment = by User:JustDerek)

Just my opinion, but personally I like having it in, and I do think it's pertinent discussing the vocal decline of a similarly great singer after a similarly huge and rapid weight loss. Softlavender (talk) 00:23, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Addendum: The text was added by User:Shahrdad, who has been by far the main contributor to the article: [2]. I'm going to replace the text until there is some consensus to remove it. If you wish to improve the text, I suggest Googling for reliable-source comparisons of Callas's and Voigt's fates. But at this point I for one don't personally see a strong enough reason to delete it, as it sheds light on a situation that has been much discussed. Softlavender (talk) 00:56, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I see your points. I don't agree, but hey — that's why we have these talk pages. With this edit I don't in any way mean to impugn the work of User:Shahrdad; on the contrary I think this is a very good article, and for that he/she deserves a good deal of credit. However, at the risk of sounding like a dick, I would submit that a given section of text should not be considered sacrosanct because User:Shahrdad (or I, or anyone else) originally contributed it. Re: googling for reliable source comparisons on Callas's and Voigt's fates, I think that would be altogether appropriate if this article was, say, Vocal problems suffered by opera stars#Weight loss or something like that. Since the subject of the article is just Maria Callas, a paragraph of Deborah Voigt describing her own experience singing after dramatic weight loss with no mention of (much less comparison to) Callas strikes me as tangential. Perhaps that's the word I should have used originally. It's not that the Voigt quotation is altogether irrelevant. However, IMO it is also not so illuminating that it justifies inclusion despite its indirect relation to the subject at hand. The Vocal decline section already quotes Tito Gobbi, Joan Sutherland, Renee Fleming, Michael Scott, Walter Legge, and others(!) commenting on the effect of weight loss on Callas's voice. On top of all those, is an additional quotation with only an indirect relation to Callas's condition so indispensable? Anyway, that's my probably more than two cents. Perhaps some others will weigh in (no pun intended) on this point; if I'm outvoted then no worries, and so it goes. JustDerek (talk) 03:45, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
To answer your question, hardly anything in the entire article is indispensible. The text in question deals with a very similar and highly applicable situation of another soprano who went through a nearly identical experience, something that none of the second- and third-hand commentators did or commented on. The material should not be removed without consensus. If you want a comparison(s)/connection(s) to Callas, then you're welcome to find and add some, as suggested. Softlavender (talk) 04:21, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Voigt's comment is impertinent and should be removed. Toccata quarta (talk) 10:47, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
The reason I included the paragraph when I wrote this article was that the lay person reading this article typically has very little understanding of the mechanics of singing and breath support and how the singer's body habitus contributes to them. Many experts have spoken about the effects of the weight loss on Callas's singing, but none really give any explanation of how extra weight could be advantageous or how rapid weight loss could be deleterious to a singer. Being a physician who deals daily with effects of weight on respiration, mainly the difference in breath pressures generated by overweight versus svelte patients, I felt that Voigt's explanation of what happened to her own breathing shed a great deal of light from a first-person viewpoint to what might have also happened to Callas's breathing physiology after her weight loss. In the previous paragraph where Renee Fleming speaks of her opinion regarding Calllas's weight loss and vocal decline, she also brought up Voigt, and how her weight loss didn't affect her voice that much (critics mostly disagree). I didn't include that part, because I didn't want the article to get too long, but perhaps I should re-add it to the Fleming quote. That might make the transition to Voigt's informative paragraph somewhat more logical. Shahrdad (talk) 00:26, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
user:JustDerek, I can see exactly what you mean by saying the Voigt section is "tangential." Be that as it may, I thought it was good to hear from another dramatic soprano who underwent a similar experience to Callas's and could talk about what it felt like to sing as a thin person when you're used to singing as someone much heavier. None of the other experts who talk about Callas's weight loss and its deleterious effects really shed any light on how things are different when you sing when you're fat versus when you're thin. Voigt came closest to explaining it in terms that a layman could understand. If anyone is interested in this from a medical and respiratory physiology point of view, I'd be happy to give a detailed explanation. Shahrdad (talk) 01:27, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

user:justDerek, user:Softlavender, user:Toccata quarta and others, please review the new additions to the Vocal Decline section and give me some feedback. I think the flow from Fleming to Voigt and its relevance to Callas is much more seamless and logical now. Your opinions would be very welcome. Shahrdad (talk) 02:10, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Well, things are much clearer now. Although I have removed the quotation, I now see its point, and would support including it in a footnote; that would offer laymen an explanation of the topic covered by the quotation, without overloading the main portion of the article with a text that relates mainly to another person's biography. Toccata quarta (talk) 08:36, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I reinstated the new paragraph, with some alterations to the first part. I think it's a good bridge to the quote from Voigt herself. Fleming asserts that Voigt sang just as magnificently after her weight loss. Early after HER weight loss, Callas also sang magnificently, but with an altered voice, thinner, more acidulous. I think the Davis quote also notes those same changes in Voigt's voice. Without the paragraph, it sounds like Voigt's voice didn't change at all, which kind of makes the Voigt quote more tangential. With the Davis quote, I feel that we know that Voigt's voice also changed, and then Voigt gives a first hand explanation of what is different about her body now that it's small versus when she was quite obese. I would like to hear some more feedback from the others in this discussion. Shahrdad (talk) 12:00, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
For those who are curious, one thing I have noticed in my practice as an anesthesiologist is the huge difference in the peak inspiratory pressure of patients when they are thin versus when they are obese. We have many patients who are quote obese and undergo gastric bypass surgery. Early on, the pressure registered on the ventilator with a specific breath volume is quite high, often triggering a high pressure alarm. When these same patients return a year or two later, having lost a great deal of weight, the peak inspiratory pressures are far lower with the exact same breath volume given to them previously. I think the Whooomph Voigt talks about is the tendency of the excess weight to push the air out of the lungs with a great deal of force after the singer has inhaled. Normally, expiration is a passive function where as inhalation is an active function. These obese singers have a "built in" breath support that comes from this higher expiration pressure, the same pressure that registeres as peak inspiratory pressure on a ventilator when the patients are unconscious and paralyzed. Once this weight is gone, the air pushes itself out with a lot less force. A singer who has learned to depend on this higher force when she was fat now has to find different means of generating that higher pressure, using muscles. This is what Voigt talks about has having to think more about her breathing now than she did before. As Fleming says, the effects on small voices needing little pressure isn't much, but for big heavy voices, any loss of breath pressure can be devastating. I hope this explains the physiology a bit. Shahrdad (talk) 12:00, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
"Thank you" to Shahrdad for sharing his "original research". As for the article: the section "Vocal decline" is strewn with quotes, and removing the ones discussed here wouldn't make much of a difference. As that subject is very much at the centre of almost every discussion about Callas, I think the extensive treatment here, using relevant quotes from singers and critics, is appropriate and helpful. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:46, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

user: Michael Bednarek I made that section so extensive, because there seems to be no definitive agreement about what caused the vocal decline. My observations regarding physiology are simply that: observations. It's not a study, but it's something every anesthesiologist or pulmonologist is quite familiar with. It definitely goes along with what Voigt says about herself, and with what many have alleged. More and more people seem to point to the weight loss as the culprit in Callas's vocal problems, and the clearly audible change in her voice from 1953 to 1954 appears to support this allegation. I thought that Voigt could shed some light on how singing feels different when one is fat versus when one is thin. I have not come across any other singers addressing this issue from a personal point of view. Shahrdad (talk) 00:29, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

It's not appropriate, even if it is helpful. It belongs in a footnote. You are supporting the overloading of the main portion of the article with a discussion of someone else's biography. Toccata quarta (talk) 07:21, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
see article where Callas entirely negates the whole debate ab weight loss being cause of her losing singing ability, as she

testifies that SOME OF HER VERY BEST RECORDINGS WERE MADE WHEN SHE WAS THIN, SKINNY ... THEN ALSO, see the added paragraph ab her debilitating disease as the very likely cause of her singing decline, via losing support of her diaphragm support etc but also her own words, that her voice box was ALL ALONG ENTIRELY FINE AND UN CHANGED .... and then OVERLAY over the disease causing her loss of singing ability, the further UNDERSTANDING , that at her best, , peak, etc she was singing in spirit, which can transcend even such a disease, if not disrupted e.g. by the Onasis ongoing disruptions ... (talk) 20:39, 27 April 2014 (UTC)her cool pwa rote

Age at death[edit]

It is difficult to be 53 as stated if you were born in 1923 and died in 1977. For those of us more gifted in Mathematics than the arts that makes this person 44 at least that is what I was taught. Can I suggest someone who knows edits this article to insert either the corrected birth date, correct death date or corrected age. Thanks. Ivorpetrie (talk) 02:42, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Not sure if that is a serious question (as it's the only edit that account has ever made) but no, the age at death is correct as is: 53. Softlavender (talk) 03:33, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Too detailed & too many quotes[edit]

This article seems to be well written but it goes on and on in excessive detail. Plus, I LOVE a good quote. Quotes can really bring a certain specificity and vividness to a text, but there can be too much of a good thing too. I really hope in the future someone removes some of the less necessitous quotes (especially some of the numerous block quotes), perhaps summarizing the main point in a quote first if important or chopping it into a much smaller quote. In general, I think this article needs to be skillfully pared down and some of the peripheral info removed or condensed. Rmm413 (talk) 03:19, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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