Top

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Maria Callas on life, imagination, music, artist, voice, opera, hurt, people, stage, love and dignity.

35 Inspiring Quotes By Maria Callas For A Perfect Musical Evening

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
One of the most famous opera singers of the 20th century

Born On
02 December 1923 AD

Died On
16 September 1977 AD

Born In
Manhattan

Died At Age
53

One of the most celebrated opera singers of the 20th century, Maria Callas was a very famous Greek-American soprano. Callas made her debut in the year 1941 in the operetta, ‘Boccaccio’. She got her big break after performing ‘Isolde’ for Tullio Serafin in Italy. She later continued performing in Italy under Tullio and got a chance to sing her first opera in the year 1948. ‘I Vespri Siciliani’ was another major performance for which she received a lot of appreciation and her fame grew thereafter. She also released her first commercial recording which was titled as ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ and got a chance to perform in New York in the year 1956. Her last performance was staged at the Rome Opera house in the year 1965. She is considered one of the best-selling classical vocalists till date. She also gained a lot of praise for her wide-ranging voice, dramatic interpretations and bel canto technique. Here is a collection of thoughts, views and words of wisdom by the popular diva in the classic sense of the word which are still quoted extensively by people. Go through the quotes and thoughts by Maria Callas on varied subjects that also include her humongous talent and art. 

Don't come to me with your troubles. I have to work for my money and you are young enough to work too. If you can't make enough money to live on you can jump out of the window or drown yourself.

- Maria Callas

When I did not become enemies, then I understand that there was nothing standing.

- Maria Callas

Only when I was singing did I feel loved.

- Maria Callas

Some say I have a beautiful voice, some say I have not. It is a matter of opinion. All I can say, those who don't like it shouldn't come to hear me.

- Maria Callas

I will always be as difficult as necessary to achieve the best,

- Maria Callas

To sing is an expression of your being, a being which is becoming.

- Maria Callas

Real friends are very special, but you have to be careful because sometimes you have a friend and you think they are made of rock, then suddenly you realise they're only made of sand.

- Maria Callas

First I lost weight, then I lost my voice, and now I've lost Onassis.

- Maria Callas

ART is domination. It's making people think that for that precise moment in time there is only one way, one voice. Yours.

- Maria Callas

There must be a law against forcing children to perform at an early age. Children should have a wonderful childhood. They should not be given too much responsibility.

- Maria Callas

I prepare myself for rehearsals like I would for marriage.

- Maria Callas

I was always too mature for my age - and not very happy. I had no young friends. I wish I could go back to those days. If I could only live it all again, how I would play and enjoy other girls. What a fool I was.

- Maria Callas

It's a terrible thing to go through life thinking that you have a rock on your side when you haven't.

- Maria Callas

Women are not pals enough with men, so we must make ourselves indispensable. After all, we have the greatest weapon in our hands by just being women.

- Maria Callas

Don't talk to me about rules, dear. Wherever I stay I make the goddam rules.

- Maria Callas

I would like to be Maria, but there is La Callas who demands that I carry myself with her dignity.

- Maria Callas

Love is so much better when you're not married.

- Maria Callas

I don't need the money, dear. I work for art.

- Maria Callas

I don't know what happens to me on stage. Something else seems to take over.

- Maria Callas

On stage, I am in the dark.

- Maria Callas

First I lost my voice, then I lost my figure and then I lost Onassis.

- Maria Callas

If I have stepped on some people at times because I am at the top, it couldn't be helped. What should I do if someone gets hurt... retire?

- Maria Callas

I would not kill my enemies, but I will make them get down on their knees. I will, I can, I must.

- Maria Callas

I cannot switch my voice. My voice is not like an elevator going up and down.

- Maria Callas

Good teachers make the best of a pupil's means; great teachers foresee a pupil's ends.

- Maria Callas

An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house.

- Maria Callas

That is the difference between good teachers and great teachers: good teachers make the best of a pupil's means; great teachers foresee a pupil's ends.

- Maria Callas

I am not an angel and do not pretend to be. That is not one of my roles. But I am not a devil, either. I am a woman and a serious artist, and I would like so to be judged.

- Maria Callas

Don’t talk to me about rules, dear. Wherever I stay I make the goddam rules.

- Maria Callas

When music fails to agree to the ear, to soothe the ear and the heart and the senses, then it has missed its point.

- Maria Callas

When my enemies stop hissing, I shall know I'm slipping.

- Maria Callas

You are born an artist or you are not. And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks. The artist is always there.

- Maria Callas

I belong to the givers. I want to give a little happiness even if I haven’t had much for myself. Music has enriched my life and, hopefully - through me, a little - the public’s. If anyone left an opera house feeling more happy and at peace, I achieved my purpose.

- Maria Callas

What is there in life if you do not work? There is only sensation, and there are only a few sensations— you cannot live on them. You can only live on work, by work, through work. How can you live with self-respect if you do not do things as well as lies in you?

- Maria Callas

It takes a little more time to get into the role, but not very much more. In making a record you don't have the sense of projection over a distance as in an opera house. We have this microphone and this magnifies all details of a performance, all exaggerations. In the theater, you can get away with a very large, very grand phrase. For the microphone, you have to tone it down. It's the same as making a film, your gestures will be seen in close-up, so they cannot be exaggerated as they would be in a theater.

- Maria Callas