Prima donna: a history
'He succeeds admirably sane, serious, committed, invigorating. ' Brian Masters, SPECTATOR 'As compelling readable as it is scholarly. ' Edward Greenfield, GUARDIAN Prima Donnas have always provoked extreme reactions - branded as spoilt and manipulative, hated and resented, even when most admired. But is this the whole story? Rupert Christiansen examines the truth behind the myth, seeking the real women behind the stereotypes. In this new edition of his acclaimed study, he puts three hundred years of these remarkable women - from Pasta and Patti to Norman and Bartoli - into their historical and musical context. He reveals their vital creative contribution to the development of opera and the intense personal struggles that were often the price of success.
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actress Aida American appeared aria artistic audience Bayreuth beautiful became Briinnhilde Callas Callas's career Carmen castrato Catalani century charm Chorley Colbran coloratura composer concert conductor Covent Garden Cuzzoni debut Destinn Donizetti donna dramatic emotional famous Farinelli Farrar Faustina Flagstad Fremstad French gave Geraldine Farrar German Grisi heard husband Isolde Italian opera Jean de Reszke Jenny Lind Jeritza ladies later Lehmann Leider Lilli Lehmann London Lotte Lehmann Lucia Lumley Malibran manager Maria married Marschallin Mary Garden Melba mezzo Mozart Muzio never nightingale Nordica Norma notes opera house orchestra Pacchierotti Paris Pasta Patti Pauline Pauline Viardot performance played Ponselle recording rehearsal repertory role Rosenkavalier Rossini sang Scala Schroder-Devrient Schwarzkopf season singer singing song soprano sound stage Strauss style success sung Supervia tenor Tetrazzini theatre Tietjens title-role Tofts tone took Tosca tour Tristan Verdi's verismo Viardot Vienna Vincent Sheean vocal voice Wagner Wagnerian woman wrote York