The Diva and Plato

Assignment Three
Part One: How does the newspaper review help us to understand Callas’s reputation as a diva?
The newspaper review helps us to understand Maria Callas’s reputation as a diva in many ways. It starts by using a well-known rumour about Callas being an actress but not much of a singer. Then the writer of the review blows it off as a fly away comment. The author tells us that although Callas’s performance of Lucia was vocally flawed it was still a very good quality performance. One that was ‘incomparable in our time’¹. This is the first entry from the review which upholds Callas’s reputation as a diva. A Diva, as described in the study material is ‘The stereotypical diva in the classical music world is someone of supreme talent, with great vocal facility and an ability to convey the emotional nuances of the music to her audience.’².   The first paragraph of this review tells of how even though Callas’s vocals may not have been quite up to scratch the way that she delivers them is of top quality. This tells us that her ability to connect to the audience on a more emotional level is really good and is part of her supreme talent, which in turn labels her as a diva.
In the second paragraph of the review, its author says ‘last night a ‘mad scene’ marvellously sung ended in anti-climax because she amputated the climatic note before it could utterly betray her.’³. This statement, when put in line with reading 6.4 from the study material( Book 1, Reputations, Chapter 6) mirrors somewhat the events of Callas’s life. It mirrors how her international career was short lived by her not appearing regularly on stage to spend time with her new found love. Later in her life this love turns sour as he leaves her for another woman shortly after she retires from opera. This leads her to become something of a recluse and she dies alone. The way that the writer of the review conveys Callas’s performance of this scene reflects her private life, as both the scene and her...