Queens of Song
By Ellen Creathorne Clayton
Why this book?
First published in 1864, Queens of Song is one of the earliest group biographies of famous divas of the operatic stage. Beginning with chapters on prima donnas who lived during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Creathorne Clayton moves quickly to the nineteenth century, focusing on powerful divas like Giuditta Pasta, Henrietta Sontag, and Giulia Grisi. Renowned for their talents and beloved by audiences worldwide, these divas often wielded outsized influence on the composers who wrote music for them and the impresarios who hired them. The individual chapters are short, but they are each surprisingly comprehensive, providing a full and vivid picture of the lives and accomplishments of these memorable, and often very demanding, artists.
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