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April 27, 2024

Maria Callas in Venice, ca. 1957

One day when Maria Callas, Carla Mocenigo and Battista [Meneghini] were on the Lido Beach in Venice, a young man that Carla knew approached them, inviting them to a party the following evening. Maria introduced herself, giving only her first name.

At the time her hair had been tinted blond for a role and that day by the sea she had braided it, which made her seem much younger than her age. The unsuspecting and somewhat flirtatious young man asked her to join the party. She was very flattered by his attention and eagerly accepted. “I’d love to come… but… I don’t know if my father will allow it. I’ll have to ask him.” And as she said that, she glanced in the direction where a plump Battista slept soundly in a deck chair. “Ok,” said the young man, “check with your father. The party will take place in a very respectable house. If he gives you any trouble, I’ll come and pick you up and I will escort you home.”

As soon as the young man was out of sight, she turned to Carla and said, “You see, he invited me because I’m attractive, not because I’m Callas.”


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