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VOA慢速英语2010年-People in America - Maria Callas, 1923

时间:2011-01-03 03:35来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]
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FAITH LAPIDUS: Welcome to People in America in VOA Special English. I’m Faith Lapidus. Today, Shirley Griffith and Ray Freeman tell about one of the most famous opera singers of the twentieth century, Maria Callas.

(MUSIC: March From "Norma")

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Opera is a play that tells a story in music. The people in the opera sing, instead of speak, the play's words. Opera is one of the most complex of all art forms. It combines acting1, singing, music, costumes, scenery and, sometimes, dance. Often there are many colorful crowd scenes.

Opera uses the huge power of music to communicate feelings and to express emotions. Music can express emotions very forcefully. So most opera composers base their works2 on very tragic3 stories of love and death. An opera often shows anger, cruelty, violence, fear or insanity4. Opera has been very popular in Europe since it spread through it during the seventeenth century. It also has become popular in the United States.

RAY FREEMAN:

Maria Callas was one of the best-known opera singers in the world. During the nineteen fifties, she became famous internationally for her beautiful voice and intense5 personality. The recordings6 of her singing the well-known operas remain very popular today.

Maria Callas was one of the best-known opera singers in the world

Maria Callas was born in New York City in nineteen twenty-three. Her real name was Maria Kalogeropoulous. Her parents were Greek. When she was fourteen, she and her mother returned to Greece. Maria studied singing at the national conservatory7 in Athens. The well-known opera singer Elvira de Hidalgo chose Maria as her student.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: In nineteen forty-one, when she was seventeen, Maria Callas was paid to sing in a major opera for the first time. She sang the leading roles in several operas in Athens during the next three years.

In nineteen forty-five, Callas was invited to perform in Italy. This was the real beginning of her profession as an opera singer. She performed major parts in several of the most famous operas. In nineteen forty-nine, she married an Italian industrialist8, Giovanni Battista Meneghini. He was twenty years older. He became her adviser9 and manager.

Maria Callas sang in her first major opera at the age of 17

RAY FREEMAN: In nineteen fifty, Maria Callas performed for the first time at the famous La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy. She sang in the famous opera "Eida" by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. She sang the part of Aida, an Ethiopian slave in ancient Egypt.

(MUSIC: "Ritorna Vincitor" from "Aida")

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: During the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties, Maria Callas sang in about forty major operas in the most famous opera houses in the world.

In nineteen fifty-six, she appeared for the first time at the Metropolitan10 Opera in New York. She sang the lead in the opera "Norma" by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini. She was a great success. Norma, a religious leader in the ancient city of Gaul, became one of her most famous parts.

(MUSIC: "Casta Diva" from "Norma")

RAY FREEMAN: During the years, Maria Callas often had problems with her voice. Critics said some of her performances were not her best. Sometimes she had to cancel performances. Her relations with the officials of major opera companies often were tense. Many harmful stories were written about Callas. The stories suggested that people she worked with thought she was difficult. However, many people who worked most closely11 with her denied this.

Maria Callas sang in about 40 major operas.

When she was not singing in operas, Callas was making recordings. She made more recordings than any other singer of her time.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: In nineteen fifty-nine, her marriage to Mister12 Meneghini ended. Maria Callas became the lover13 of a rich Greek businessman, Aristotle Onassis. Callas suffered more problems with her voice. So she sang less. In nineteen sixty-five, she sang in the opera "Tosca" by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. She was Floria, an Italian singer. It was a part she had sung many times. It was the last time she appeared in an opera.

(MUSIC: "Vissi D'arte" from "Tosca")

RAY FREEMAN: Now that she was no longer singing, Callas wanted to marry Aristotle Onassis and have a child. However, in nineteen sixty-eight, Onassis suddenly said that he was leaving her. He had decided14 to marry Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow15 of the murdered American president, John Kennedy.

Maria Callas at the La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy

Three years later, Callas decided to teach young opera singers. In the early nineteen seventies, she taught twelve classes at the Juilliard School in New York. Parts of these classes were released16 as records. Terrence McNally wrote a play about Maria Callas and her opera students called "Master Class."

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Maria Callas sang in many cities in Europe, the United States and East Asia in nineteen seventy-three and seventy-four. She performed with opera singer Giuseppe di Stefano. Critics said she was not able to sing as well as she had when she was younger. It is not known if Callas's troubles were caused by a physical problem or because she had not spent enough time training her voice.

Maria Callas died of a heart attack in her home in Paris in nineteen seventy-seven. She was fifty-three.

RAY FREEMAN: Many experts say Maria Callas influenced opera more than any other singer of the twentieth century. They say she had the deepest understanding of the traditional Italian opera. Her beautiful voice and intense feeling increased the effect of an opera. One expert said: "Callas sees and hears in the great operas the poetry of music. Others sing notes. She sings meaning. "

People who heard Maria Callas sing say they will not forget the experience. Her voice lives on in the many recordings she made. Some experts say Maria Callas is as popular now as she was when she was performing around the world.

(MUSIC: March From "Norma")

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: This Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust and produced by Lawan Davis. I'm Shirley Griffith.

RAY FREEMAN: And I'm Ray Freeman. Join us again next week for another People in America program on the Voice of America.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 acting czRzoc     
n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的
参考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
2 works ieuzIh     
n.作品,著作;工厂,活动部件,机件
参考例句:
  • We expect writers to produce more and better works.我们期望作家们写出更多更好的作品。
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
3 tragic inaw2     
adj.悲剧的,悲剧性的,悲惨的
参考例句:
  • The effect of the pollution on the beaches is absolutely tragic.污染海滩后果可悲。
  • Charles was a man doomed to tragic issues.查理是个注定不得善终的人。
4 insanity H6xxf     
n.疯狂,精神错乱;极端的愚蠢,荒唐
参考例句:
  • In his defense he alleged temporary insanity.他伪称一时精神错乱,为自己辩解。
  • He remained in his cell,and this visit only increased the belief in his insanity.他依旧还是住在他的地牢里,这次视察只是更加使人相信他是个疯子了。
5 intense G5axf     
adj.认真的,专注的;强烈的;紧张的;热情的
参考例句:
  • Susan was an intense young lady.苏珊是一个热情的年轻姑娘。
  • The quarrel caused her intense unhappiness.争吵令她极其不快。
6 recordings 22f9946cd05973582e73e4e3c0239bb7     
n.记录( recording的名词复数 );录音;录像;唱片
参考例句:
  • a boxed set of original recordings 一套盒装原声录音带
  • old jazz recordings reissued on CD 以激光唱片重新发行的老爵士乐
7 conservatory 4YeyO     
n.温室,音乐学院;adj.保存性的,有保存力的
参考例句:
  • At the conservatory,he learned how to score a musical composition.在音乐学校里,他学会了怎样谱曲。
  • The modern conservatory is not an environment for nurturing plants.这个现代化温室的环境不适合培育植物。
8 industrialist JqSz4Y     
n.工业家,实业家
参考例句:
  • The industrialist's son was kidnapped.这名实业家的儿子被绑架了。
  • Mr.Smith was a wealthy industrialist,but he was not satisfied with life.史密斯先生是位富有的企业家,可他对生活感到不满意。
9 adviser HznziU     
n.劝告者,顾问
参考例句:
  • They employed me as an adviser.他们聘请我当顾问。
  • Our department has engaged a foreign teacher as phonetic adviser.我们系已经聘请了一位外籍老师作为语音顾问。
10 metropolitan mCyxZ     
adj.大城市的,大都会的
参考例句:
  • Metropolitan buildings become taller than ever.大城市的建筑变得比以前更高。
  • Metropolitan residents are used to fast rhythm.大都市的居民习惯于快节奏。
11 closely XwNzIh     
adv.紧密地;严密地,密切地
参考例句:
  • We shall follow closely the development of the situation.我们将密切注意形势的发展。
  • The two companies are closely tied up with each other.这两家公司之间有密切联系。
12 mister rnQzwB     
n.(略作Mr.全称很少用于书面)先生
参考例句:
  • Mister Smith is my good friend.史密斯先生是我的好朋友。
  • He styled himself " Mister Clean ".他自称是“清廉先生”。
13 lover IA0xx     
n.情人,恋人;爱好者
参考例句:
  • Every lover sees a thousand graces in the beloved object.情人眼里出西施。
  • Mr.Smith was a lover of poetry.史密斯先生是一名诗歌爱好者。
14 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
15 widow sgxwQ     
n.寡妇
参考例句:
  • Martha was a very rich young widow.玛莎是个很有钱的年轻寡妇。
  • All this money was appropriated for the support of his widow.所有这些钱作为给他的遗孀的抚养费。
16 released 23690fd759f17135ec9879b56ff2600c     
v.释放( release的过去式和过去分词 );放开;发布;发行
参考例句:
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • With hindsight it is easy to say they should not have released him. 事后才说他们本不应该释放他,这倒容易。
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TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  traditional
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