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Maria Callas' opera jewels go on display

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LONDON, Sep 14, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Jewels and costumes worn by the late Maria Callas in some of her most famous operas on display for public viewing at London's Royal Opera House.

Callas was 53 when she died of a heart attack in her Paris apartment in 1977.

Among the items in the lavish exhibit are the bridal jewels Callas wore for the 1956 New York performance of "Tosca," the BBC reported Wednesday.

The exhibit also includes the crown Callas wore for "Nabucco" in Naples, Italy in 1949, a role she never sang again. Visitors can also see the necklaces and earrings she wore for "La Traviata" at La Scala in 1955, which are accurate reproductions of genuine period jewelry.

Many of the pieces Callas wore throughout her career were fashioned by Italian jeweler Ennio Marino Marangoni. He only used crystals made by Austria's Swarovski company and the firm bought the entire Callas collection in 1999, the BBC said.

Some the older pieces were restored for the Royal Opera House exhibit, which runs until Jan. 10. The exhibit will then travel to Prague, Czech Republic; Brussels; and New York.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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