Maria Callas [1923–1977], soprano, performs the aria, “O mio babbino caro” (Oh, my dear father), from Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Gianni Schicchi (1918); the libretto was written by Giovacchino Forzano, based on an incident from Dante’s Divine Comedy (“Inferno;” Canto XXX). This one-act comic opera, Puccini’s last, writes Sameer Rahim in The Guardian, “is only an hour long. It is the concluding part of a trilogy (Il Trittico) that also comprises Il Tabarro, a melodrama set on a Paris dockside, and Suor Angelica, set in a 17th-century convent.” It premiered at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on December 14, 1918. This performance, conducted by Georges Prêtre, is with the Orchestre National de l’ORTF, in Paris, in May 1965. As for an explanation of the aria, it is a simple youthful declaration of love (Lauretta, the daughter of Gianni Schicchi, for Rinuccio), its purity in contrast to the general atmosphere of deception and double-dealing. For those interested, there is a review (December 14, 1975), by Harold C. Schonberg, in The New York Times [here]. For your pleasure, you can enjoy more of Maria Callas at London’s Royal Festival Hall on November 26, 1973 [here]; this formed part of her farewell concert tour (1973–1974). Callas gave her last public performance in Sapporo, Japan, on November 11, 1974.