Presentation; Culture

Gefyra Presents "Maria Callas: The Sacred Flame"

October 12, 2023

Gefyra, the partnership between the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University and the SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture at UCLA, is proud to present Helena Matheopoulos, Associate Editor, Opera Now Magazine.

Join us on Thursay, November 16th at SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre, room 1400, for her talk "Maria Callas: The Sacred Flame".

This event will be moderated by the Director of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies professor Dimitris Krallis.

Attendance is free. The event will be in-person only and open to the public.


What makes Maria Callas unique and irreplaceable – The yardstick by which all sopranos are judged, even after all these years? And what did the “Callas Revolution” bring to opera?

Forty-five years after her death, Maria Callas (nee Kalogeropoulos) is still worshipped as ardently as she was during her lifetime. Her records outsell those of any other diva, past or present, and she seems to mesmerize a new generation of opera lovers as potently as she bewitched the audiences of her day — a phenomenon unique in the history of opera. “Callas is not just unequaled — she is unequalable!” according to the legendary Italian film, opera, and stage director Luchino Visconti. The Italian press perceptively christened her “La Divina,” thus emphasizing the extra, metaphysical dimension that sets Callas apart from singers of her time and, so far, of all time.

In fall 2023, the 100th anniversary of her birth, the Mayor of Athens will inaugurate a Maria Callas Museum next to Athens Cathedral. UNESCO has named 2023 “Maria Callas Year” and Opera Houses all over the world are dedicating productions to her memory. “Without doubt,” declares Kiki Morfoniou who sang Neris to her Medea at Epidaurus in 1961, “Maria was The Voice of the Century.”

Helena Matheopoulos, currently serving as the Associate Editor of Opera Now Magazine, hails from Athens. With a background as a former fashion editor at Tatler and a consistent contributor to The Times (London), Gramophone, and Opera Now, she has garnered recognition for her authorship of several esteemed books on opera. Notable among her literary works are titles such as Placido DomingoDiva: The New Generation, and Fashion Designers at the Opera. Matheopoulos holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Medieval History from the University College London.

Gefyra (Bridge) is a collaborative program established by the UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture and the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

This programming is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)

For more information about the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and its programs, please visit our Media page. Keep an eye on our newsroom for the latest and be sure to follow us on social media or subscribe to our email list so you never miss an update!