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.


"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.


Brilliant Traces


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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