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Encyclopedia > Prima donna
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Originally used in opera companies, "prima donna" is Italian for "first lady". The term was used to designate the leading female singer in the opera company, the person to whom the prime roles would be given. The prima donna was normally, but not necessarily, a soprano. The corresponding term for the male lead (almost always a tenor) is "primo uomo". Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Female (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Singer (disambiguation). ... This article is about the singing voice part. ... This article is about Tenor vocalists in music. ...

Legendarily, these "prima donnas" were often regarded as egotistical, unreasonable and irritable, with a rather high opinion of themselves, not shared by others. Although whether they are truly vainer or more hot-tempered than other singers (or than any other people in the opera houses) is highly debatable, nowadays the term often signifies a vain, obnoxious and temperamental person who, although irritating, cannot be done without. An example of one would be Maria Fogarty. In his theory of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud sought to explain how the unconscious mind operates by proposing that it has a particular structure. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other meanings of vanity, see vanity (disambiguation). ...

Now that opera companies (with a fixed cast) are a thing of the past, the term prima donna has almost become a synonym of diva and is used to designate popular female opera singers, especially sopranos. Famous prima donnas have often caused opera enthusiasts to divide into opposing "clubs" supporting one singer over another. The rivalry between the respective fans of Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi, for example, was one of the most famous of all opera, despite the friendship of the two singers. A diva is a great female opera singer, a prima donna. ... Maria Callas in a casual moment, 1960s Maria Callas (Greek: Μαρία Κάλλας) (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977) was an American born, Greek dramatic coloratura soprano and perhaps the best-known opera singer of the post-World War II period. ... Renata Tebaldi (Pesaro, February 1, 1922 – San Marino, December 19, 2004) was an Italian lyric soprano, popular in the post-war period. ...

The term "prima donna" is also the title of a song in Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical, The Phantom of the Opera. It refers to the ill-tempered character, Carlotta Giudicelli. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is a highly successful English composer of musical theatre, and also the elder brother of cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. ... The Black Crook (1866) is considered the first musical comedy Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. ... The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the novel by French novelist Gaston Leroux. ... Carlotta Giudicelli is a fictional character from The Phantom of the Opera. ...



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