Our NEC work-study students are passionate about music and everything about it! How many times have you heard the word diva used in opera these days? What are your thoughts on opera today? Jessica Rost, one of our very own Undergraduate NEC sopranos voices her opinion on the matter.
Opera News, “Sweet Sound of Freedom”
“It’s so difficult to define the word “diva” today in the opera world and outside of it.
In a recent Opera News interview, American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky explained her interpretation of the word. She claimed that in the past, “a diva was someone who threw fits, stomped out of rehearsals, had all these demands. But that’s not acceptable in this day and age. People who throw hissy fits get replaced.” There’s no room for those kind of divas anymore. Brilliance and humility are both expected.
As of late, being called a “diva” is something to be celebrated rather than ashamed of. Celebrities like Beyoncé have made being called “a diva” desirable. Divas are accomplished and they’ve “earned the right to be called ‘diva’ because of all the work [they’ve] done.”
But why the shift in attitude all of a sudden? One could assume that performers are in fact more immature and selfish now with all the influences of young Hollywood destroying society. Does that make our generation more humble, or are directors just expecting professionalism now?
I leave you with the words of the beautiful Sondra Radnanovsky:
“I’m honored to be called a diva. I am. I work hard for that. I work very hard, I love what I do, and I am intensely passionate about it. If that’s being a diva, I am fine with it. But I refuse to be something that I’m not, or behave in such a way that creates an aura of me being untouchable. That’s not me.”
Thank God for modesty.
SCE Work Study
B.M. Vocal Performance ‘16
- Sondra Radvanovsky: an immensely effective singing actress! (operaorganic.wordpress.com)