The Diva / Plato On Tradition And Belief

1385 words - 6 pages

Part 1: The Diva.

How does the newspaper review help us to understand the singing qualities of an operatic diva such as Callas?

We have learnt from the DVD on the subject of ‘The Diva’ that the role of an operatic Diva is that of a larger than life character, that takes a great deal of practice, rehearsal and preparation to fulfil the role. The definition of the word ‘Diva’ is that of someone of supreme ability in which the Diva conveys the “emotional nuances of the music” (E. Moohan p, 163) and performance of character to her audience.
The newspaper review written by Winthrop Sargeant in 1958, is both a reliable and valuable source in which we are able to understand ...view middle of the document...

51) which conveys the emotion needed to portray the role of Violetta.
Sargeant mentions that Callas does not posses a ‘pure, innocent voice’, and that there are other singers whose voice is more “beautiful” (Phillip p178). This characteristic of her voice can be linked to her personnel life where she struggled to gain notoriety in her early singing days when she failed several auditions in 1945 (Reading 6.4), Callas lost 30 kilos in weight, She divorced in 1959 before suffering ill health in 1965, all f these struggles in her private life would of shaped her voice and given it the characteristics discussed above.
Overall musically the aria is very sparse with the instruments more or less playing through the chord changes, with stabs and arpeggios. The aria is all abut the voice. The big voice that Maria Callas possessed. The aria in opera works in much the same way as a soliloquy in drama (DVD ‘The Diva’), it’s a point in the piece where focus is n the Diva and the singer can convey further emotions to the audience and listener.

Winthrop Sargeant (1958) review of the performance of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on 6 February 1958, The New Yorker; available online at (Accessed 30 July 2012)

The Diva – DVD Video (2008) (AA100 DVD), Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Moohan E., Jones N. and Phillip, R. (2008) ‘The Diva’, in Moohan E. (ed.) Reputations (AA100 Book 1), Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp. 161 - 96

Part 2: Plato on Tradition and Belief.

1. Towards the beginning of the passage, Socrates gets Laches to agree to a new definition of courage. What is it?

Socrates gets Laches to agree that courage is admirable, and that wise endurance is a new definition of courage.

2. What conclusions do Socrates and Laches reach at the end of the passage? Why might Laches be surprised by this conclusion?

The conclusion that is reached and what Laches agrees to is that foolish endurance is courage. In Reading 1.3, Socrates and Laches are discussing how courage is admirable. Laches is then asked the question whether endurance when coupled with foolishness could be considered admirable. Laches disagrees with this comment which contradicts the conclusion that is reached in paragraph 9 in the printed passage. In paragraph 9 Laches has a change of heart and agrees with Socrates that foolish endurance is in fact courage. For this reason Laches would be surprised by the conclusion.

3. How does Socrates argue for this conclusion?

Socrates argues for his conclusion by use of his deductive argument process. The example that Socrates uses is that of opposing soldiers at war. This example is used to give the two premises needed in his deductive reasoning in order to obtain a valid and sound conclusion. The first premise is taken up by the soldier that has calculated...

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