cover of book

The Diva's Mouth: Body, Voice, and Prima Donna Politics
by Susan J. Leonardi and Rebecca A. Pope
Rutgers University Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-8135-2304-0 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-2303-3 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-5916-2
Library of Congress Classification ML400.L46 1996
Dewey Decimal Classification 783.6

Like the divine, divas, it seems, are omnipresent. From the sirens to Madonna, from castrati to Callas, from opera stage to drag shows to TV commercials, from George Eliot to writers of detective fiction, the diva has been worshipped, feared, maligned, parodied, and appropriated. The Diva's Mouth: Bodies, Voice, and Prima Donna Politics examines how and why, from the eighteenth century to the present, divas have been talked about with so much passion and written up, down, and over with so much ambiguity and contradiction. The book explores the myriad roles the diva plays in masculinist, feminist, and queer imaginations--in opera itself and in other fictions, films, and fantasies, including the divas' (and the authors') own. Finally, it examines how and why pop and "pomo" singers, like Madonna, Annie Lennox, and Diamanda Galas, in very explicit ways both flirt with and fling off the fantasy of the woman with a voice. In this very witty and highly readable book, the authors tell everything you always wanted to know and make you want to know even more about the diva.

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