Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 14, 2003 - KRCU 90.9 FM and "Sunday Night at the Opera" will present the first part of a special four-part series at 7 p.m. March 23 entitled "Callas in Her Own Words."

Maria Callas is considered by many critics to be the greatest opera singer who ever lived, and this series will cover her life and career. Callas herself will be heard discussing her art, her life and her fellow singers. Excerpts from many of the operas in which she appeared will be heard throughout the series. The series continues with parts two, three and four being broadcast for the following three weeks.

Callas was born of Greek parents on Dec. 3, 1923. She lived with her parents in New York City until her mother took Maria and her sister to Athens in 1937. Callas studied at the music conservatory there.

In 1945, she made her Italian debut singing Gioconda in Ponchielli's "La gioconda." That performance took place in the Arena di Verona, the second century Roman amphitheater in Verona, Italy. From that point on, her career took off, and she sang in all the major houses in the world.

Maria Callas died in 1977 at the age of 53. Her turbulent life rivals any of the operas in which she sang and her influence on opera performance and production has been enormous. This special series is a vivid reminder of what an important singer she was and continues to be.

"Sunday Night at the Opera" is one of KRCU's longest running local programs and has been on the station since March 1995. Barbara Herbert, the show's host, gives analysis and history of each opera that is broadcast and then tells the story of each act. Herbert has traveled to New York and Italy to see various operatic productions and has shared those experiences with KRCU listeners.

KRCU 90.9 FM is Cape Girardeau's local Public Radio International affiliate and a National Public Radio member station. KRCU is located on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. For more information about KRCU 90.9 FM, visit


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For more information contact the Director of the News Bureau, Ann Hayes, (573) 651-2552.