Drama Queens Retain Their Thrones

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Divas are the stars of opera and the stuff of legend. They are full of tantrums and tears. They are separated from ordinary mortals by a whole tradition of extravagant and occasionally un-team-like behavior. But divas – or drama queens – are what keeps opera interesting.

This week, American mezzo Joyce DiDonato talks to Marilyn Horne about the fun of being a drama queen on stage.  Plus: Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette tells us about some real-life drama queens. Below is a special preview.

Anne Midgette's Top Five Off-Stage Drama Queen Moments in Opera Lore:

5. Soprano Angela Gheorghiu works with Georg Solti and refuses to sing portamento
4. Soprano Zinka Milanov disses tenor Kurt Baum during an Aida duet
3. Soprano Jessye Norman says: "this baby don't do no #@&!?! recits"
2. Soprano Kathleen Battle and the limousine driver
1. Two words: Luciano Pavarotti


On February 23, Operavore will be looking at uses of opera in film, in advance of the Academy Awards. Beforehand, we'd like to hear from you: What is your favorite use of opera in film? Take our poll below or leave a comment: