Sport Mae Young, superstar of the first generation of professional women wrestlers, has died aged 90

Female emancipation has taken many forms, but few as gaudy and violent as the breakthrough largely pioneered by Mae Young, better known as "the Great Mae Young," superstar of the first generation of professional women wrestlers in the US, who conclusively gave the lie to generalisations about the gentler sex. In sport records are made to be broken, but Young's feat of appearing professionally in eight different decades may never be surpassed.

The diva has landed ...

She has her own dressing-room, stunt double and personal trainer, and she plays a leading role in Janacek's austere opera From The House Of The Dead. Schnorbitz, a 17-year-old tawny eagle, is the unlikely star of the Welsh National Opera's latest production, writes Mark Rowe.

Sexual politics in the 90s: Gay and lesbian - The rainbow alliance comes of age

A new spirit of liberation has freed gays and lesbians from old animosities and rigid ideology, says Jane Franks. Now it's time to party

The diva in me

Patti LuPone has had a remarkable number of near-encounters with Maria Callas: from almost attending the soprano's master classes to screen- testing for a Hollywood biopic. This week, the actress-singer is bringing her to life on stage, without singing a note. By Edward Seckerson

Classical Records: Mahler & Korngold: Lieder. Angelika Kirchschlager/He lmut Deutsch (Sony, CD).

Sony Classical is actively pursuing embryonic divas to enhance its artist-roster, and along with Jane Eaglen, the most promising new name they've signed recently is Angelika Kirchschlager, the glamorous young Austrian mezzo who makes her solo recording debut with this disc. In live performance - at this year's Schubertiade - I thought her alluring, but with a slight hauteur in the delivery and hardness in the tone. On disc it's the allure that wins, hands down. The beauty, clarity and definition of the sound is captivating, and response to text immaculate. She also chooses fascinating repertory. The Mahler isn't only Gustav: there are songs by Alma (a composer too until her husband put a stop to it).

REVIEWS: Diva adored

IN CONCERT Jane Birkin RFH, London

The eager diva

John Walsh meets... Lesley Garrett

LEST WE FORGET ANN PEEBLES

To pop audiences, Ann Peebles is probably the one-hit wonder of "I Can't Stand the Rain" fame. But, in fact, she enjoyed a lengthy spell as legendary Memphis producer Willie Mitchell's female counterpart to Al Green. And before she retreated from the music business to raise a family, she had made her mark on the R'n'B field with the likes of "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down", "Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home" and "99lbs". Now in her late 40s, she is back - and demonstrating that, like many another long-serving soul diva, she has kept her marvellous pipes in good working order. Her 1992 comeback Full Time Love essentially reprised the sophisticated poise of the Mitchell approach - right down to featuring the Hi Rhythm Section. But the current CD, Fill This World With Love, fuses this style with more modern, funkier sounds. While not totally successful - the long medley of some of her old numbers and some standards is less than indispensable - the record does demonstrate that husband Don Bryant has lost little of his song-writing ability, and also offers the treat of two duets with the wonderful, and even more experienced, Mavis Staples.

Theatre Sarrasine Lyric, Hammersmith

Rome, 1758. Jean Ernest Sarrasine, a young French sculptor, visits the opera and falls obsessively in love with the voice and beauty of the star diva, La Zambinella, whom he pursues. The power of theatrical illusion and the youth's cultural ignorance have, however, led him to make a fatal error. La Zambinella is, in fact, a castrato and the kept boy of a cardinal whose henchmen, at the climax, butcher the outraged hero.

Emotional Joan of Arc has House in raptures

First Night

Diva's song of sorrow over missing night

Memory, as someone once pointed out, is the thing that you forget with. After forgetting to turn up to sing at the Glyndebourne Festival, the promising mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly yesterday said she was sorry.

Deborah Cox Deborah Cox Arista 74321 32575 2

The soul diva market is a competitive, crowded area at the moment, with all the Whitneys, Mariahs, Celines and Natalies seducing the smooch- soul dollar, but Canadian Deborah Cox has more than enough going for her to find her own little niche in it. She's got a cute Paula Abdul kind of smile, which helps, but unlike Paula, Debs can also sing the socks off a song, and write a decent hook as well, if last year's hit "Sentimental" is anything to go by.

Letter: Yearning for a new MP

Sir: I am writing to thank David Aaronovitch ("The Diva from Hell", 3 May) for his pointed parody of our dreadful Conservative MP for Gravesham, Mr Jacques Arnold.

Questionable performance by the Diva from Hell

This is a story of a row. Not a row as in fight or struggle - but a row of seats. To be precise the third row up, below the gangway on the government side of the Chamber. And it's a story of the men who sit there.

Diva rings up curtain on a Glyndebourne for the Welsh valleys

Welsh Glyndebourne: Gwyneth Jones plans festival at Victorian singer's castle

Diva rediviva

Michael Church meets Kyra Vayne, a long-forgotten voice from the Golden Age, given new life by CD
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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Panto dames: before and after

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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Marian Keyes

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

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