Maria Callas and Patti Smith

On 8 Nov 1998 I met Patti Smith & bought her new lyrics book, Patti Smith Complete. I was just getting to know her. She already felt like a close friend, a sister to me. When I got home I opened the book and was surprised to find her writing about Maria Callas in her introduction.

I was especially moved by Maria Callas. Her emotional intensity. How she seemed to draw from every fiber to create a whisper. Her arias soared from the turntable. . .

The image of an elegant Callas sitting at her piano at home was on the next page in the book. Oddly, this told me that I had a lot to learn about Patti Smith! Callas was born in 1923, more than twenty years before Patti or myself and she had been gone for more than two decades when I got the book. Of course, I knew who Callas was, but I had no recollection of having ever seen her perform. But I made a mental note to be open to exploring her work when the right time came.

It came today, when I saw a video of her singing Tosca. It was obvious why Callas had been a big influence in Pattiā€™s early life. She performed exactly the way Patti had described her.

My thanks to the one who provided me with that link.