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A diva (English pronunciation: /ˈdiːvə/, Italian: [ˈdiːva]) is a celebrated female singer. The term is used to describe a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, and by extension in theatre, cinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of "prima donna".

The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. The plural of the word in English is "divas"; in Italian, dive [ˈdiːve]. The basic sense of the term is "goddess",[1][2] the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo), a male deity.[3]

The male divo does exist in Italian and it is usually reserved for the most prominent leading tenors, like Enrico Caruso or Beniamino Gigli. The Italian term divismo describes the Star system.

An extravagant admiration for divas is a common element of camp culture.[4]

References

  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ TIME magazine observed in its October 21, 2002 issue: "By definition, a diva was originally used for great female opera singers, almost always sopranos."
  3. ^ Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 782 pages
  4. ^ "Vamps, camps and archetypes: gay men, the diva phenomenon and the inner feminine" by Andrew Milnes (2002)

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also diva

German

Etymology

From Italian diva, from Latin divus 'divinity'

Noun

Diva f. (genitive Diva, plural Diven)

  1. A diva (vocal star)







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