Dishing on the Diva with Joyce DiDonato

This episode originally aired on February 9, 2013

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Divas are larger than life and the stuff of legend. Then there are Drama Queens -- a category unto itself. They cry. They rant. They indulge in un-team-like behavior. They are, as American mezzo Joyce DiDonato put it, "drama personified."

This week, we revisit an interview with DiDonato 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

Episode Playlist:

Giuseppe Verdi Don Carlos “O don fatale”
Orchestra of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor; Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano
EMI 47701

Geminiano Giacomelli Merope “Sposa, son disprezzata”
Il Complesso Barocco; Alan Curtis, conductor; Joyce DiDonato mezzo-soprano
Erato 2654

Giovanni Porta Ifigenia in Aulide “Madre diletta, abbracciami”
Il Complesso Barocco; Alan Curtis, conductor; Joyce DiDonato mezzo-soprano
Erato 2654

Francesco Cilèa Adriana Lecouvreur “Giusto cielo!” (Phaedra's monologue)
Philharmonia Orchestra; James Levine, conductor; Renata Scotto, soprano
CBS Masterworks 34588

Giuseppe Maria Orlandini Berenice “Col versar barbaro il sangue”
Il Complesso Barocco; Alan Curtis, conductor; Joyce DiDonato mezzo-soprano
Erato 2654

Comments [2]

Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

Maria Callas being served with a summons from her former manager backstage in Chicago after a performance of 'Madama Butterfly' reacted with a fury that was fortunately caught by a nearby photographer. She was a veritable Medea in Japanese clothing. Now that's a Diva! The others only wish they were such a Diva.

Apr. 12 2014 12:31 PM
Sanford Rothenberg from Brooklyn

We now live in an era of much more collegial behavior.Gheorghiu is the last practitioner of this sort of "diva" behavior,for which there is much less acceptance by management.There are also far fewer instances of bad behavior by conductors,with Christian Thielemann being a lone example of boorish behavior and anti-Semitism.Gone are the days when a singer was told by a younger colleague that "My grandmother told me about you"(Jenny Lind),or being told by an older colleague that "I am not taking pupils this season "(Lillian Nordica).

Apr. 12 2014 02:48 AM

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