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.

• a female opera singer
• a famous singer of popular music: A pop Diva
• a woman regarded as temperamental or haughty she is much more the dedicated maverick than the petulant minxy Diva
Maria Callas was known as the 'La Divina' of opera Divas; she was famous for her powerful voice and her charismatic stage performances, while Madonna is known as the most famous Pop Diva of all times, having sold more albums than any other female artiste; over 300 million records and won a plethora of music awards. And in terms of the Oxford Dictionary she was a music maverick mogul by the age of 34 when she had full control over her own production company, known as "Maverick". We can safely refer to both artistes as Divas.
Both Divas were Sopranos. Madonna from the lower Soprano range G#2 to B#5 (approx.) and Callas had the broadest of the Soprano ranges F#3 to E#6 and some claim she could sometimes hit F#6, which made her range unique. Both shared a constant drive for improvement. In Madonna’s 1984 song 'Material Girl' her voice is thin, tiny and monotone. However in 1989 when she sings 'Just Like a Prayer' you hear her improved richer voice range. Her inventive combination of gospel choir, vocal call and response technique, and instrumental fortissimo lifts the listener to a higher spiritual level. Her skilful blend of different genres of music within one song, from gospel/pop, spiritual/sexual, to her famous disco/dance style was risky but insightful. This versatility and insight was the start of a whole new career for Madonna.
Maria Callas started her operatic life as a Contralto, and then retrained to become a Soprano. In her famous Aria from Tosca her vocal ornamentation is effortless. When she sings 'No! Ah! Piu non' we...