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Baker's Dozen

A Zola Jesus Baker's Dozen: 13 LPs By Women Who Inspired Me To Sing
Luke Turner , August 27th, 2013 08:32

Zola Jesus (Nika Rosa Danilova) gives us a special Baker's Dozen - 13 albums by female singers who inspired her to find her own voice


Maria Callas - La Divina
I used to be really judgmental about Maria Callas, for no clear reason. Maybe since she was the one opera singer every man and woman knew and loved, I figured (as most angsty teenagers do) that she was "overrated." Why listen to Maria when there is Mirella, Renata, Rosa, Leontyne? But recently, I began to listen and watch Maria, and it hit me instantly. There is something in her voice that is so undeniable, so bone-chilling. And even better, to watch her perform, to know her story, and to see her swallow the characters. She doesn't just become the roles, she is them. She is the underdog, the tragedy, the misunderstood lover. Everything about her radiates through that mystical voice. And now I feel foolish! She earned every iota of the La Callas she had become, for better or for worse.