If I wasn't human, surely I would have sung better

This phrase “If I wasn't human, surely I would have sung better” pronounced it Maria Callas, the best-considered soprano of all time. I had the pleasure of watching the documentary “Maria by Callas” directed by Tom Volf (2017). The funny thing about the documentary is that it's the story of the diva told mostly by herself. Letters from his handwriting, interviews he gave. If I wasn't human…

According to the synopsis of Filmaffinity, it's about a “intimate portrait of the life and work of opera singer Maria Callas. With testimonies from Callas herself, Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, Alain Delon, Yves Saint-Lauren, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Luchino Visconti, Winston Churchill, Grace Kelly, Liz Taylor and other personalities who met the diva.”

This woman didn't have an easy life, But I don't want anything to go ahead. If you can, stop by the cinema to see it, no prejudice (Type > I don't like opera). Just to understand that the visible part of an iceberg often hides fears, Complex, endless hours of effort, stolen youth and much more.

But let's go back to the phrase, who pronounced a few years before his untimely death to the 53, “if I wasn't human…”.

Perfection doesn't seem possible in humans

I have a few posts insisting on this concept: if it's perfect, it's hardly human. Already, we could say that works like The Last Supper (Da Vinci), Or The Rapture of Proserpina (Bernini) or the performance of Nadia Comaneci at asymmetric bars in Montreal 1976 they're perfect. In fact, they touch perfection. In the very near future, possibly a robot will make it perfect.

The Rapture of Proserpina
Detail from “The Rapture of Proserpina” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

The question, how I advanced in Can we promote a culture of human connection in the age of machines? is that the human will be differential precisely by human being, Imperfect, incorporating values, Ethics, for being changing.

I reaffirm myself when I read content like this from the digital magazine Puro Marketing: The 90% digital content will be generated by “Bots” In 5 Years. We can see it as a problem, I prefer to see it as an opportunity, the human is spontaneous, maybe erratic, but it connects more.

What we are, what we think, what we do, what we project, results and legacy, the great hexagon of the personal brand

Maria Callas' life helps me understand that perhaps personal brand, view with perspective of years, it's more than we think. It's not just who we are., Our Identity. Or what we think, Our emotional DNA and cognitive. It's not just what we do., around a value proposition that gets results for our customers. Nor is it just what we project, perceived identity. Neither the Results, what we got. It's also what we left, in the form of Legacy VALUE. Six parts that form a hexagon

Surely you think that in the case of Maria Callas the hexagon is easy. My good friend and colleague, Professor Vladimir Estrada, works with a three-dimensional model of personal brand formed by 1. What we are 2. What we do 3. What we achieved. I am passionate about the simplicity of the model. The soprano's case made me think there's something else that makes up our personal brand, and it's those three extra points that make up the human part.

And there's the difference in Callas: if I wasn't human, your personal brand wouldn't exist.

I'll go deeper into another post on this hexagon. From Callas we have a legacy, From 1977 he's not with us. He had friends because he had great and powerful enemies. He had the best voice because his mother did not allow him to be more than 30 seconds in front of a mirror. According to her, got away in music because he didn't love. And when he did (with Greek shipowner Onassis), stopped singing.

Callas wasn't perfect, according to herself, when he was emotionally well, I didn't want to sing. If I wasn't human, wouldn't have left us this wonder:

Magnificent summary, Friend Marc, for educating my stubborn ears to savor arias like this. Thank you friend Mezzo Julia Arellano for getting excited about the gift I received after you read this post.

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3 thoughts on "If I wasn't human, surely I would have sung better”

  1. Hello, Guillem!

    I love that you bring the opera to your blog with this very successful and suggestive analysis. :-)

    I think you've hit the nail completely on the head..

    Callas didn't have the best technique (always compared to Renata Tebaldi in this respect), nor the most morbid voice ringer (had a strange bell, very personal, metallic sometimes).

    But that's for sure., it was the one that best conveyed playing, able to nuance each word with its meaning, to smile only with the voice, to play the characters. And there he looked at his human side with enormous force.

    It wasn't perfect. (although it's hard to say it by listening to his Tosca of the 53 with De Sabata), and in that human imperfection is what many have bewitched us.

    Years of listening to her, and it had never occurred to me to express that quality of his as you do in the post or think of it in terms of personal brand.

    Big post.

    A hug!

    • Thank you Joan! Tebaldi was always the reference (Competition) of his time. But Callas, As you say, had a unique way of singing and, especially, to interpret. For me she was a great actress (although his film foray with Pasolini is better forgotten). Yesterday I heard in the film “Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore” from Tosca, but I don't know if it's the version you mean. Thank you so much for your expert comment, always appreciated!

      Pd: There is a movie list on Spotify you can follow.

  2. María Callas, a diferencia de otras cantantes, no era sólo una artista para escuchar sino para percibir con todos los sensores disponibles. Ella logró en un grado sumo, nunca antes ni después empardado, vivenciar con cada parte de su ser lo que interpretaba. Ella ERA lo que cantaba, y la fuerza interpretativa no la abandonó, incluso cuando mermaron sus cualidades y calidades canoras, tan prematuramente. Y estos mismos vectores del arte son los que, inefablemente, movilizan nuestros resonadores en respuesta simpática y entérica, tan sublime y connatural, que la razón tarda y falla en darse un por qué enteramente satisfactorio. Y ahí entran en juego “explicaciones” que poco explican: es su voz de cromalidad oscura, lo que da un dramatismo adicional y verídico a lo expresado…, será su excelsa técnica al servicio del mensaje que transmitía…, o su infinita versatilidad interpretativa que la capacitaba para ser incluso una soprano de coloratura, si la obra demandaba esto, o su rango de 3 octavas y más aún, con lo que la capacitaba incluso para incursionar en roles de mezzo y hasta de contralto…, o sus dotes naturales de excelsa actriz, que lograba involucrar todas sus potencialidades comunicativas al servicio del arte…,cosas ciertas todas ellas y largamente debatidas. Estériles esfuerzos de la razón humana que intenta coordenar y cuadricular la esencia del espíritu en las categorías del ser… Por mi parte seguiré volando con María Callas hacia un universo en el que no hay cabida para lo finito y lo mensurable más que para lo bello y lo eterno.


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