Feeling the Feelings of Others
through the Voice of a Singer
Process Theology and Maria Callas
The Open and Relational Voice
It would not be true to say that Maria Callas (1923-1977) had an open and relational personality. She was, for many, very hard to get along with. She was a diva, after all. But it is true to say that when we hear her singing in recordings, she has an open and relational voice. You can feel her voice, such that the emotions she is communicating get under your skin and enter your heart. You feel her voice, to be sure, and you also feel the feelings of the characters she is performing: their longings, their passions, their sufferings, their loves. For the moment, as you listen, they become part of you; your capacities for empathy are expanded. And so it is true for many artists. Their talents communicate truths of the heart even as their personalities may fall short of certain virtues we admire. It said that God is a fellow sufferer who understands the human condition. The voice of Maria Callas helps us participate in the divine life.
- Jay McDaniel