Prima donna  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In opera or commedia dell'arte, a prima donna (Template:IPA-it; plural: prime donne; Italian for "first lady") is the leading female singer in the company, the person to whom the prime roles would be given.

Prime donne often had grand off-stage personalities and were seen as demanding of their colleagues. From its original usage in opera, the term has spread in contemporary usage to refer to anyone behaving in a demanding or temperamental fashion or having an inflated view of oneself and a narcissistic attitude.

The prima donna in opera was normally, but not necessarily, a soprano. The corresponding term for the male lead (usually a castrato in the 17th and 18th centuries, later a tenor) is primo uomo.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Prima donna" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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