harpcolumn

practical news, for practical harpists

Forums » Coffee Break » Divas

About Forums

Welcome to the Harp Column forums. Please read the Terms and Conditions before posting. By using this forum, you agree to adhere to these terms.

Want to add links or emphasis to your posts? Read the Harp Column blog about posting shortcuts.

Divas

  • David
    David Ice

    Here's a new thread, and a totally unexpected experience for me.

    I was recently involved in a huge concert/television taping.  There was one diva on the program (I will not reveal her name or country of origin, other to say that she is not American and does not sing in her native language.)

    Well, I was part of a superb 27 piece orchestra....truly the best of the best.

    Well, Ms. Diva wanted to sing a certain song.  She had no music, no charts, so a professional composer/arranger did a transcription from the recording. 

    But Ms. Diva was obsessed that the music/orchestration/background singers/ even the microphone (!) be EXACTLY the same as the recording.

    We spent over 100 minutes of rehearsal time on the same inane 2 minute ditty, a rehearsal period that ultimately degenerated into Ms. Diva auditioniing every instrument to make sure we were playing EXACTLY the same notes as the recording--in exactly the same way, with exactly the same tone and dynamics.

    What was funny was that for the performance, she nearly missed her cue as we were running early.  When she finally appeared she looked like she was in her bathrobe and had just pulled the curlers out.  She sang and--you guessed it--she "forgot" everything we had so meticulously rehearsed, and the ultimate result was that it sounded EXACTLY like our very first rehearsal.

    Does anybody have any other Diva stories?  I couldn't believe that she could get away with eating up so much rehearsal time, at the expense of at least 3 other internationally known singers!

    And as we were packing up, our conductor ran after us, jokingly telling us, "Wait, wait!  Don't leave!  We have to run through that song again!"

    Dave Ice

    - Sign in to comment
    replies to "Divas"
    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      Unfortunately the concept of a Diva has changed from someone who sings like a goddess to someone who thinks the world revolves around her.

      - Sign in to comment
    • Jerusha
      Jerusha Amado

      Between divas and bridezillas, I don't know how you full-time pros keep your sanity!

      Jerusha

      - Sign in to comment
    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      Amen, Tony. As someone with a master's in vocal performance who has done some opera performing, I can't agree with you more. I was taught that a true diva is a singer with responsibilities and grace and not someone who made life miserable for others. It was a title earned, and something to be proud of. This "diva" slapped onto every screeching little witch irritates me.

      Briggsie

      - Sign in to comment
    • Carl
      Carl Swanson

      Their behavior is reprehensible. But there is one reason and on reason only that this sort of behavior continues to flourish, and that is that everyone is afraid to say NO to them. Diva behavior is nothing more than narcissistic behavior. And I learned way too late in my life that if you tell them no, they will back down.


      What I resent about narcissistic people is that they force ME into the position of putting limits on THEIR behavior. They don't seem to have any internal sense of limits. So they push and insist and walk all over people until they are told to stop. I have a short list of people in the harp world that I will never, NEVER deal with again exactly because of this kind of behavior. David, your conductor should have put a stop to this right at the beginning.

      - Sign in to comment
    • David
      David Ice

      Hi Carl,

      Well, our poor conductor literally looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  He was NOT responsible for the artists chosen or the music.  He was a hired gun like the rest of us.  Trust me the whole orchestra was feeling for him.....as things were changing minute by minute and were not in his control.  He was trying to keep things on an even keel and avoid any "scenes".  There were 20,000 people at the event and he wanted to keep everybody happy.

      Ultimately it did work out, and she unwitting did do it "our way" but man, what a process!

      Dave Ice

      - Sign in to comment