Super hot screen siren Eva Mendes has been officially named to portray Greek opera singer Maria Callas in a film based on the book Greek Fire by Nicholas Gage.
The feature is set for release next year and will focus on Callas’ scandalous relationship with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
Maria Callas was an American-born Greek soprano singer and one of the most famous opera singers of the twentieth century.
A versatile singer, her repertoire ranged from classical opera to works of Verdi and Puccini.
Her incredible musical and dramatic talents earned her the affectionate alias of La Divina.
Callas received her musical education in Greece and went on to establish her career in Italy.
Over the course of her colourful career, Maria endured numerous struggles and scandal.
The press exulted in publicising her allegedly temperamental behaviour, her supposed rivalry with Renata Tebaldi and her heated love affair with Aristotle Onassis. Unfortunately, Callas’ dramatic life and personal tragedies often overshadowed her artistic abilities.
Callas’ voice was nothing short of incredible.
She was able to change the colour and weight of her voice at will according to the role she was singing, which enabled her to essentially give each character an individual sound.
Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini referred to Callas’ voice as “a very special instrument”.
The second half of Callas’ career was marked by scandal.
In 1957, while still married to her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini, Callas was introduced to Onassis at a party.
The affair that followed received much publicity in the mass media, and in November 1959 Callas left her husband.
The Onassis-Callas affair ended in 1968 when he left Callas in favour of Jacqueline Kennedy.
Callas spent her last years living largely in isolation in Paris and died on September 16, 1977, of a heart attack.
Her ashes were stolen but then later recovered and scattered over the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece.
In 2007, Callas received a posthumous Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. In the same year she was voted the greatest soprano of all time by BBC Music Magazine.
Her legacy continued on the 30th anniversary of her death when her image was selected as the main motif for a high value euro collectors’ coin.
The money was minted in 2007 with her image shown on the coin face and her signature alongside the National Emblem of Greece on the reverse.