Slipped Disc posts:
The Maestro and the Diva is an old, old story. Humphrey Burton so titled a move with Georg Solti and Kiri Te Kanawa (1990; Sony videotape, 1992). At a Music Critics Association conference on the question in San Francisco in 1995, the conversation turned to the practice of stand-ins for divas at the rehearsals. "How many rehearsals must the star come to?" asked a participant. Sir Charles Mackerras was heard to respond: "Well, if it's Te Kanawa and Der Rosenkavalier" (as it would be that night) "I'd just as soon do it on no rehearsals."
On the musicology of Divas, don't miss the prize-winning book by Philip Gossett: Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera (University of Chicago Press, 2008).