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Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis on the beach of the Excelsior hotel in Venice, September 1957. - 


Doug Krizner: You know you're really famous when love letters you wrote over 50 years ago have the auction world singing. Personal belongings of a long-gone opera diva are up for grabs tomorrow in Milan. Marketplace's Lisa Napoli reports.

Lisa Napoli: Maria Callas died 30 years ago after a storied career as a soprano -- and a personal life as dramatic as the plot of any opera.

Nestor Maskauchan of OperaCollectors.com says over time, her mystique has grown.

Nestor Maskauchan: A lot of people never saw Callas on the stage, but they hear about Callas.

Maskauchan says people are clambering to bid on the hundreds of items on the auction block -- musical scores, jewels, evening gowns and artwork.

Maskauchan: Prices are very high, there's a lot of interest. So it's not for a person who's not really serious about Callas.

Of particular interest: 63 love letters Callas wrote to her husband, whom she eventually left for Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. He left Callas to marry Jackie Kennedy.

All the items in the auction are expected to fetch around $700,000.

In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.