About the rivality Callas Cerquetti

Well, there was Tosca! Cerquetti, in the Rasponi book, writes a pathetic description of Tebaldi's "Violetta" in Florence, at the same time she was appearing there, and wonders aloud why she would have put herself through that torture, being *unsuited* for the role as she was. (paraphrased but very close)
But, that's not really the point of what's been said concerning Callas and Cerquetti, so let's put the record straight, and you can all decide for yourselves. It'll be long!
Callas was fired from Rome after the "Norma" walkout on 2 Jan 58, and never sang there again. She was *fired* by Ghiringelli at Scala in May of 58 and didn't reappear until 7 Dec 1960, four months after Cerquetti officially retired. Callas had not sung at Naples since 56, nor at Genoa, Venice or Verona since 54. Nevertheless, Cerquetti has only one engagement at Naples, in 57-8, one at Venice in 56, and never sang at either Genoa or Turin. Nor, did she sing at Verona after 57, nor at her most famous venue, Florence, after the same year. Callas was not heard at Florence after 1953. So, it is just ludicrous to even intimate that she or her admirers had ANYTHING to do with Cerquetti not being engaged in any of those places.
Cerquetti talks about Maria vaccilating over a "Ballo" production at Scala. No year given. Callas sang it in only production in her life, 7 Dec 1957, opening night. Cerquetti states that it was offered to her after Maria turned it down, and that Maria changed her mind after hearing that she (Cerquetti) was to sing it. Does anyone really believe that? Further, Cerquetti sang her last performance at Chicago on 30 Nov. Think about an opening night, a new production, what would have been her debut at Scala, with seven days to get to Italy, rest, rehearse and go on stage. It never happened! But then, we've heard other interesting tales about Callas and "Ballo" productions.
After the Rome walkout, Callas never again sang in a theater in Italy except at Scala in one revival of "Poliuto" and two short runs of "Medea". Given the fact that she disappeared from Italian musical life for a two and a half year period, and that Cerquetti was either not invited, or, chose not to appear at any of Italy's major theaters after "Nabucco" at Scala in June 58, which was, by the way, her debut and farewell as an opera singer at that theater, something else was going on, and we will probably never know what it was.
Why do I bother, and who cares? Well, I bother because Maria Callas has enough real baggage to carry around in death, that neither we nor her memory need more of the same. There is enough truth in what we already know, to paint a picture that is sometimes not very pretty. Who cares? I have no idea; I hope a few of you do.