Photos, recording cast light on last sad days of Callas

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She was known as ''the Tigress'', a force of nature whose passionate spirit changed opera forever but left her broken-hearted at the end of a short, tragic and very public life.

Now, 30 years after Maria Callas died alone in Paris at the age of 53, two new discoveries have shed fresh light on the greatest diva of all time.

One is a set of previously unseen photographs from a [1954] scrapbook...

Nineteen years later, with her voice diminished and her confidence in tatters, Callas was persuaded to make one final album: a series of duets with Giuseppe di Stefano, her favourite tenor...a rare bootlegged copy of the sessions in St Giles Church, Cripplegate, London, has come to light.

[Gramophone Editor James] Inverne writes in the magazine that it ''would have been better for Callas’s reputation that [the recording] had never been made''.

''It is worse than anyone could have imagined,'' he said. ''Her voice was in tatters and it is tragic to hear.''

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