Don Satz replied to me:
>Personally, I'd like to see the word "diva" expunged from the
>vocabulary - it could join "maestro". But, given that the term will
>continue to exist, I have no problem with Celine Dion being called
>a diva; she is much better known than Fleming or Bartoli.
So is Charlotte Church, I imagine. I don't think fame and distinction
as a performer are necessarily synonymous.
>One thing I like about the world of Rock is that these elitist terms or
>others are generally not used in descriptions. Artists are people just
>like the rest of us with many of the same day-to-day concerns. I don't
>see any reason to inflate them.
I don't see these words as elitist, more a mark of respect for the
performer. I agree that when someone uses such words to ingratiate himself
with the performer, the words lose that sense of respect. For all I know,
Fleming, Bartoli and Dion all have halitosis and kick the dog after a bad
gig. They might even believe all that drivel in Charlton Heston's NRA
commercials. But people respect them as musicians, whatever their other
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