The 2nd Edition of the Charity Event of the Maria Callas Monaco Gala & Awards was held on May 5, 2022, under the High Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, and the kind support of the Greek Community of Monaco, in the magnificent Salle Empire of the Hôtel de Paris, in Monte-Carlo.
Distinguished guests and a charitable mission
Guests had the opportunity to relive a legendary gala from sixty years ago at this iconic venue. Among the celebrity artists present were Mario Frangoulis, Myrto Papaghanasiu, Dimitris Platanias and Stella Almondo.
The evening was hosted by the Greek journalist Emy Livaniou and by George Davlas. The event was followed by an Awards ceremony for personalities who have contributed to the development and well-being of the community.
The organisers recognised the talent of the legendary Italian actress Monica Bellucci and honoured her with the award of Best Actress by Maria Callas Monaco Gala & Awards. Tom Wolf received the award as Best Director. In 2019, he directed “Maria Callas: Lettres & Mémoires” at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris. Mario Frangoulis was awarded Best performer. Katerina Panagopoulou received the Solidarity Award for her philanthropic work and social contribution.
This year’s Gala had the support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, and its projects all over the world, working for the protection of children at sea and the prevention of drowning. It also supported the Chasing Zero initiative of H.S.H. Princess Charlene and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa for the salvation of the African rhinoceros.
The evening ended with an elegant dinner and a charity art auction by ArtCurial Monaco in support of the Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco.
The art dealer Katya Taran also took part in the charity auction presenting a sculpture by a talented Ukrainian artist Lina Condes “Love is the only way”. There was a fierce competition for this lot and in the end it was sold for €6800. Gareth Wittstock was also one of those who were interested in purchasing this piece of art.
Ioanna Efthimiou is President and founder of the Maria Callas Monaco Gala & Awards that has just taken place at Hôtel de Paris for the second time. She is delighted with its success, wishing for the event to be regular. An even more sumptuous gala is planned next year to celebrate the diva’s 100th birth anniversary. A passionate woman, visual artist and great admirer of Maria Callas, she has shared her insight with HelloMonaco.
HelloMonaco: How did the idea of organizing this gala come about?
Ioanna Efthimiou: It was born out of my love for the greatest diva of all times, Maria Callas. She was closely linked to Monaco and the princely couple, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. This evening is also a tribute to the very first gala organized in Monte-Carlo where Maria Callas enchanted the audience with her captivating voice.
HelloMonaco: Do you intend to organize it every year?
Ioanna Efthimiou: Absolutely. This time it was the second consecutive year for the guests. They loved it and are eager to participate in the future events.
HelloMonaco: This year it was truly lit up by the presence of Monica Bellucci. What are you planning for next year?
Ioanna Efthimiou: Every year we invite international celebrities, connected to Maria Callas. Greek singer Nana Mouskouri was thus our special guest last year. This time it was the sublime Monica Bellucci. Next year we will celebrate the centenary of the diva’s birth with famous artists performing opera. The Opéra Garnier is an ideal venue to host this amazing evening.
HelloMonaco: This gala is also a charity event. How important is that?
Ioanna Efthimiou: We would like to emphasize the importance of donating and being united. This year the proceeds went to the Princess Charlene Foundation. Each of our events pursues a different charity cause.
Maria Callas Gala & Awards
The Maria Callas Monaco Gala & Awards is inspired by the legendary Gala, which was held in Monaco in 1960, where the greatest Opera Diva ever, Maria Callas alias ‘’La Divina‘’, enchanted the crowds and the Royal couple of Prince Rainier & Princess Grace of Monaco with her unique voice.
By reviving the Maria Callas Monaco Gala in the place the Diva cherished most, spending long periods of her life with her great love Aristotle Onassis, Ioanna Efthimiou, President & Founder of the Gala, aims to celebrate Maria Callas’ infinite talent and pay homage to her remarkable career.
The first Edition of the Gala was held in May 2021 with great success, and in the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert, who was the first who embraced this effort.