Aa100 Tma03 Part 1 the Diva & Part 2 Faber Book of Beasts

Part 1 The Diva

What evidence supports the reputations of Madonna and Maria Callas as divas? How might these reputations be compared and contrasted? Please support your answer by referring to their musical performances, as provided in the module materials.

Madonna and Maria Callas are renowned singers that gained the title ‘diva’. Moohan explains, that a diva is ‘someone of supreme talent, with great vocal facility’ and furthermore, ‘has an ability to convey the emotional nuances of the music to her audience’ (2008, p. 163). However, Madonna and Callas convey their title ‘diva’ differently in certain ways.   This assignment aims to show you the comparisons and contrasting information on how both singers gained their reputations.

When examining the evidence for Madonna we can see that she gained her reputation not only on her musical abilities but also on her ability to take control of her musical performance and have creative control over what she produces. Jones explains, ‘she achieves this is by overseeing the music’s authorship and production’ (2008, p. 166). This makes her powerful and shows that she has a supreme talent of being a diva, allowing herself to become an inspirational icon to her audience.

When listening to ‘Like a Prayer’ we can see that Madonna is a strong virtuosic soloist. Madonna uses a gospel choir to help convey the songs emotion, which is full of religious lyrics. Here Madonna creates a combination of pop and gospel. However, when we hear Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ her voice is far less powerful in comparison to ‘Like a Prayer’. As Jones explains, ‘you can appreciate how Madonna’s voice developed and matured’ (2008, p. 169). Expanding her vocal capability is yet another example of how Madonna gained the title diva.

Turning our attention to Maria Callas it is clear why she is entitled to be called a ‘diva’. Unfortunately, the reason why she is known as a diva is quite saddening. Moohan tells of how she lived ‘out the tragedy of...