Madonna and Maria Callas: Two Divas Essay examples

Madonna and Maria Callas: Two Divas Essay examples

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The Oxford English dictionary defines a diva as "a distinguished female singer" (Oxford University Press, 2014). Both Maria Callas and Madonna fit this definition, despite doubts in their singing ability. They share a dramatic presence, both on and off stage, which distinguishes them from others.

Madonna and Maria Callas are both singers whose personality and presence are often given more weight than the strength of their technical performance. Madonna's vocal ability, Jones tells us, was largely considered "the weakest aspect of her performance" (Jones, 2008 p.165). This is evident throughout Material Girl (The Diva, 2008, track 1), where the singing quality is weak, and shows little of the vocal agility one might expect from an operatic diva. Madonna's voice, as Jones puts it, is "lacking in power and resonance" (Jones, 2008 p.165). Similarly, Callas, "battled throughout her career against vocal problems" (Philip, 2008, p.178), although Philip admits Callas' considered technical ability varied between commentators. Philip mentions an "aggressive warble" (Philip, 2008, p.178) in th...

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