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.

Coda

"Diva who became a Dame was a Nazi." Such have been the headlines prompted by a new unauthorised biography of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, in which the author, Alan Jefferson, has had the temerity to state that the great soprano not only joined the Party but found the link professionally useful.

CLASSICAL MUSIC BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS Pigs' bites and a marxist view of top C

DIMITRI MITROPOULOS conducted usually without a baton and invariably without a wife: two omissions that marked his card in the American concert world of the 1940s and 50s and don't escape the scrutiny of William R Trotter's Priest of Music: The Life of Dimitri Mitropoulos (Amadeus Press pounds 22.50), which is perhaps why the book carries a commendation from Joan Peyser, queen of music-outings. Anyone who read her ruthless life of Leonard Bernstein will know how Bernstein sat at Mitropoulos's feet when the older man was running the Minneapolis Symphony and New York Philharmonic, and know too that their relationship encompassed sexual attraction - made famous by a close encounter in a Boston restaurant where Mitropoulos fed his 20-year-old disciple oysters from his own fork.

Alison Moyet: part opera diva, part checkout woman

At full pelt, Moyet's voice can cause physical pain; ROCK

So why do we need Midler, Madonna, Patsy, Edina? Well, we don't

You'd swear it was the Second Coming, but it's just a club/record promo thing: another woman singer with a happy House anthem to sell. So here she is, in shades and Big Hair, miming to her Greatest Hit in front of a seething crowd of off-their-face faggots.

Letter: Not big enough for two Divas

From Mr Mario Iosue

Diva fever: a thing of the past?

"It's like playing golf: there are good days and bad days." Star of the Rugby World Cup theme and the Royal Wedding, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is talking about her voice. Even her sternest critics - and there are legions of those - cannot deny the beauty of her tone, but her dramatic talent leaves a lot to be desired. It is this lack of onstage passion that keeps her from becoming a true diva.

NEW STAGES: REVIEWS

Brilliant Traces

ARTS WHY THE DIVA'S DAY MAY BE DOOMED

Divas, famous for their arias, tempers and fluffy knitwear, are an endangered species, says a leading opera producer. Elijah Moshinsky urges opera houses to show them a little tenderness

Diva's old gowns going for a song

The personal collection of extravagantly bejewelled costumes belonging to the opera diva Dame Joan Sutherland will be auctioned at Sotheby's on Thursday for an estimated £200,000, writes Marianne Macdonald.

THEATRE / NEW STAGES: Of divers and divas

Leocadia - New End Theatre, London NW3 / Quelques Fleurs - Old Red Lion , London EC1

The adoration of the divas

BLIND SPOTS Stephen Johnson struggles with his distaste for the virtuosity of Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti and Bellini

Diva hits false note in royal encore

A STRIDENT defence of the Queen by Dame Joan Sutherland, the former opera diva and one of Australia's great cultural icons, has probably done the monarchist cause more harm than good.

Out of America: President and diva lead the way in choosing death with dignity

Washington - Their lives could not have been more different. She was an East Coast society diva who became the closest thing the US has known to a queen. He was the poor boy from California, with scarcely a social grace to his name, who lived out triumph and disgrace shared by few men in history.

When the ample Catalan sings: Callas is no more; Kiri Te Kanawa is making television commercials, but Montserrat Caballe, the 61-year-old soprano with the old-fashioned style, is still the people's diva of choice

WHAT DOES it take to be a diva? Not just some slip of a thing who can hit a top C, but a full-blown, Guinness-dark, D-I-V-A diva? I was asking myself that when I came upon a huge burgundy Bentley with the boot wide open. The courtesy car laid on for Montserrat Caballe during her stay in London was already full, and fitting in the two extra suitcases left behind in the hotel was proving to be something of a problem. The chauffeur was just taking a moment off to wipe his brow with a handkerchief.

Hay Festival: 24-carat diva in a mews, with grace: The Hay Festival has begun: John Walsh remembers previous delights and Helen Birch talks to Maya Angelou, who leads today's events

Twenty five years after I Know why the Caged Bird Sings, the first volume of her five-part autobiography, became a bestseller in the United States, Maya Angelou has become a diva. A six-foot, 24- carat diva. Last Wednesday night the austere atmosphere of the Reform Club in London lightened briefly as she performed her poem, 'Phenomenal Woman'.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?