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It's not easy being a Great Opera Diva when . . . An illustrated slideshow of (Mostly) Heartbreaking challenges Faced by Celebrated women singers, 1700-1920

By Kathleen McDermott

From August to November 2017, I made a drawing a day and posted them to an on-line portfolio of 100 illustrations exploring history of fashion. There you'll see divas, tiaras, hats, hair-dos, women's history, and more.

This illustrated slideshow presents 11 drawings from my daily sketchbook.

View my entire daily drawing portfolio on my Pinterest archive.

Or follow my daily sketches on Instagram.

It's not easy being a Great Opera Diva when . . .

. . . you are a serf!

1785

Parasha Kuznetova, known as "Zhemchugova" or "Pearl"

. . . your maid forgets to warm up your jewels!

1905

Nellie Melba

. . . men suggest that your intelligence and drive is because you might really be a man!

1893

Pauline Garcia Viardot

. . . your father is your teacher and he knows no limits!

1820s

Maria Garcia Malibran

. . . your husband steals the diamonds from your tiara!

1905

Lillian Nordica

. . . you're non-binary!

1700

La Maupin

. . . promoters plant fake news about your raging rivalry!

1727

Francesca Cuzzoni, Faustina Bordoni

. . . You have to stay in a Different hotel than the white cast!

1892

Sissieretta Jones

. . . your husband Makes you sick!

1822-1845

Isabella Colbran

. . . you're traveling with 25 trunks!

1900

Lina Cavalieri, Geraldine Farrar, Olive Fremstad, Adelina Patti, Nellie Melba

. . . laws allow wastrel husbands to steal your money!

1885

Maria Malibran, Giulia Grisi, Adelina Patti

To learn more, please visit Diva Museum, my multi-media Diva History online platform featuring 26 illustrious women artists and their path-breaking role in women's history.

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