Star soprano or Star Wars? Classical music fans weigh in on the new Maria Callas statue
18 October 2021, 12:17 | Updated: 18 October 2021, 12:38
Maria Callas has been immortalised in a new statue in Athens, but the bronze figure has hit a bit of a bum note.
But when the Greek capital’s mayor Kostas Bakoyannis unveiled the 1.8 metre-high centennial piece of art last week, it wasn’t quite the immortalisation many had envisioned for La Divina.
In fact, it’s already been compared to the likes of Star Wars’ bumbling droid C-3PO and relentless killing machine, The Terminator.
Callas’ golden effigy has even been dubbed as “Ghandi in heels”.
Callas was born in Manhattan, New York, but received her musical education in Athens. She made her professional debut in February 1941 as Beatrice in Franz von Suppé’s operetta Boccaccio, with the Greek National Opera.
So naturally, the country wanted to immortalise the celebrated 20th-century soprano on their own soil, in a spot which holds historic significance for the soprano.
But their attempts haven’t struck the right chord.
One person on Twitter said how passersby looked on in horror, commenting: “It looks like The Terminator”.
Comparisons to anything Star Wars-esque have been aplenty, too.
Few people would oppose the creation of a statue to commemorate the legacy of Maria Callas. But the kitschy piece that was placed in Dionyssou Aeropagitou in Athens unfortunately resembles something one would find at a Star Wars theme park. pic.twitter.com/Z2orOFXGu3— Niko Efstathiou (@NikoEfst) October 11, 2021
Most haven’t minced their words on the subject...
So, the statue of Maria Callas is bad. pic.twitter.com/qpceBkPCtE— Rebecca Rideal (@RebeccaRideal) October 17, 2021
Some have even put their meme-making hats on.
But the feedback hasn’t all been negative.
Twitter user George Vardas has defended the sculpture, arguing the “contemporary adaptation” only adds to the soprano’s “mystique”.
I think "Gandhi in heels" is a little harsh. There are other statues of Maria Callas in Athens and this contemporary adaptation - inspired by her appearance at La Scala - possibly adds to her mystique #MariaCallas #Callas #Statue #Athens https://t.co/eaLwdD3zt5 pic.twitter.com/qHfCdT8Wja— George Vardas (@VardasGeorge) October 18, 2021