Maria Callas at 100: Opera, Celebrity, Myth

International Conference

Turin, 17.-20.12.2023

Deadline: 30.06.2023

Giulia Carluccio (Università di Torino), Massimo Fusillo (Università dell'Aquila), Stefania
Rimini (Università di Catania), Emanuele Senici (Università di Roma La Sapienza)

Cristina Colet, Leonardo Mancini, Giulia Muggeo (Università di Torino)

Scientific Committee
Luca Aversano (Università Roma Tre), Alberto Bentoglio (Università di Milano), Giorgio Biancorosso (University of Hong Kong), Gabriella Giannachi (University of Exeter), Michal Grover-Friedlander (Tel Aviv University), Serena Guarracino (Università dell'Aquila), Gerardo Guccini (Università di Bologna), Andrea Malvano (Università di Torino), Antonella Mascio (Università di Bologna), Federica Mazzocchi (Università di Torino), Isabelle Moindrot (Université Paris 8), Federica Muzzarelli (Università di Bologna), Franco Perrelli (Università di Torino), Mariapaola Pierini (Università di Torino), Antonio Pizzo (Università di Torino), Maria Rizzarelli (Università di Catania), Emilio Sala (Università di Milano), Paola Valentini (Università di Torino)

UniVerso and CRAD (Centro Ricerche Attore e Divismo) - Università di Torino

"Da tutte le parti d’Europa, però, chi era riuscito a mettere insieme la somma e non si lasciava spaventare da un caldo capace d’abbattere le peggiori bestiacce, aveva giurato da mesi di non perdersela, quest’occasione di assistere a uno dei grossi sortilegi del mondo moderno: in un remoto angolo della Grecia di sassi, una notte di luna appare una maga, che è uno dei grandi personaggi del secolo, e in una cerimonia di stregoneria rotocalchesca Commuove i Popoli…"

With these words, Italian writer Alberto Arbasino poignantly evokes the compelling call that drove an international crowd to a torrid Epidaurus in July 1960 for Maria Callas’ performance in Norma. But, just as poignantly, Arbasino’s words also suggest the complexity of the Callas phenomenon as both performer and character, dominating the great stage of the twentieth century and beyond.

To mark the centenary of Maria Callas’ birth, the University of Turin promotes an international conference as the culmination of its “UniVerso/Maria Callas Icon” program.
The conference is promoted together with UniVerso and CRAD, and in collaboration with Fondazione Teatro Regio di Torino.

  • The conference Maria Callas at 100: Opera, Celebrity, Myth aims to address, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the study of an artistic personality who left a profound mark on the history of opera, but also more generally on the collective imaginary, becoming a true icon of the twentieth century. Her singing, which poet and critic Eugenio Montale defined as expressionistic, not only marked a turning point in the interpretation and reception of opera in contemporary culture, but also had a radical impact on all the other arts, from literature to cinema, and from the visual arts to all kinds of performance.
  • Adopting a broadly multidisciplinary perspective, the conference will focus on a professional career that spanned several decades of the last century, leaving an indelibe mark on opera; at the same time, it will also explore the singer’s influence on broader social and cultural discourses, both in Italy and abroad, within which she performed – and continues to perform – a crucial role.
  • In addition to reconsidering the fundamental part that Callas played in the historical and artistic context in which she lived, the conference also aims to emphasise her legacy and the ongoing relevance of her myth.
  • From fashion to cinema, from pop music to TV series, from graphic novels to numerous biographies, Callas’ memory lives on in the present through countless tributes, reframes and remediations, as witnessed, for instance, by Marina Abramović’s operaproject 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, which will open the conference as a video installation.

The conference will comprise several sessions related to different disciplinary areas. The following keywords are intended to provide an initial conceptual framework:


The conference will be held in Italian and English. Those who would like to participate are invited to submit a proposal in the language of their choice to, including an abstract (max 2000 characters / 250 words) and a short bio (max 500 characters / 100 words).

Proposals from young scholars are particularly welcome.

Submission deadline: 30 June 2023
Notification of abstract acceptance: 20 July 2023

There is no registration fee for participation in the conference.