Why Maria Callas? What is all the fuss about? I realize it is absurd to write about this.
People write on and on about her voice. They love it. They hate it. I claim that her voice is almost irrelevant. Almost because it must have sufficient force to portray the music she likes to sing. It has.
It is simply the musical perfection. You hear every note. She phrases with a genius that is almost unknown. Then she has the force to back it up.
Why is Before Ari so much better than After Ari? It isn't the voice that is different. It is the phrasing. Over the period of idleness she has lost her muscle tone and never really manages to get it back. Perfect phrasing requires a mind of genius and a body strong enough for absolute control. She never found it again.
Or. If no one argues with me, I'm happy to argue with myself. Compare this from 1965. It's pretty damn fabulous. Who says she couldn't still do it?