Callas disregard: divas belong in the cringeworthy past

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Callas disregard: divas belong in the cringeworthy past

To the modern woman, being self-contained and cool-headed looks far more attractive than being a bellyaching bitch

Julie Burchill

Diva! The word feels onomatopoeic – like Viva! it seems to demand an exclamation point. Originating as a professional description of a principal female singer in the world of Italian opera, it has now undergone the same mutation as its foremost frenemy “prima donna” – that is, meaning a woman who is demanding and “difficult”, especially in the work arena.

Diva spotters were been rubbing their hands at the prospect of Barbra “The Velvet Foghorn” Streisand and Celine “The Maple Syrup” Dion playing two evenings apart at the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park last  weekend. But my bet is that one could find far more bad behaviour among the throngs of superannuated rockers – the Rolling Stones, The Who, Black Sabbath, Roger Waters and Eric Clapton – which the BST has generally opted for. The best dirt I could dig up about Dion was that during her time on The Voice “she brought an entire entourage of people with her [and] complained about everything, from her hair and make-up to the outfit that was chosen for her”.

So what? I’ve got friends who act like that getting ready for a night out...

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