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prima donna

Prima donna ('first lady') is the Italian term for the leading female singer in opera. The corresponding male lead was called primo uomo.

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Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.