Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend by Arianna Stassinopoulos is a 383-page hardcover published in 1981 by Simon and Schuster, New York. The dust jacket shows rubbing and light wear. Inside, the cover and pages are nearly pristine, with clean crisp pages and tight binding.
For millions of people, Callas was the focus of unparalleled fascination--the enigma of a highly publicized and yet intensely private personality. After years of research, traveling around the world to interview virtually everyone who played a part in Callas' life--her friends, her family, her colleagues--Arianna Stassinopoulos has succeeded in penetrating the barriers of Callas' public facade to reveal the complex woman behind the legend. Maria's career is brought brilliantly to life: her self-willed transformation from a chubby, painfully shy and awkward girl into the magnificent Callas presence; the triumphs at La Scala, the Met, Covent Garden; the celebrated battles with Rudolf Bing, Renata Tebaldi, and others; all the musical glory of perhaps the greatest dramatic opera singer who has ever lived.
Arianna Stassinopoulos re-creates it all--the world of international high society, floating palaces, exiled princes, and reigning millionaires; of grand parties and great riches. Even as she evokes this fabulous life, the author looks beyond the glitter to explore the real nature of Maria's passionate love affair with Ari, the ill-fated marriage that went before it, her unsolvable conflicts with her mother, her secret abortion, her bitter humiliation when Onassis dropped her for Jackie, and her romantic entanglement with Giuseppe di Stefano, with whom she made her disastrous comeback in 1973. And underlying all this turmoil, a ceaseless struggle raged within--between the legend and the woman, Callas and Maria.