Barbra Streisand

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Barbra Streisand Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

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A diva is a celebrated female singer; a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, and by extension in theatre, cinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of prima donna. The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Italian noun diva, a female deity.

In 2007, Barbra Streisand, startled British fans with her exorbitant ticket prices. Starting at £75 in Manchester, some seats were priced at a staggering £600, whilst others would fetch a mind boggling £1,400 on Internet auctions. It says much for her status in the music business, that she could still command similar prices in 2013 when she returned to London’s O2 arena. In her heyday, she was not only the biggest female musical star in the world, but also the biggest female box office draw. Yet for all this success, ambivalence is not a word readily associated with her public persona, so an understanding of how she divides opinion remains the key to explaining her longevity.

She’s undoubtedly got the patter, the regal-esque nature to her concert appearances in recent years, hinting at a form of superior sunday religious worship, with enough financial donations to fit a new roof on Westminster Abbey. Streisand’s postmodernism, and the more than healthy dose of sceptism that goes with it, is exemplied in the rapport she still engenders in her audience. Unfortunately, it’s a well rehearsed act, no more no less, unflinchingly lapped up by her entralled devotees. Performing in 2006 for the first time in a decade, Barbra is gushing, invigorated by this alleged new connection with her youthful fans, a rare and exquisite bond between artist and audience. Filmed for a subsequent DVD release, it’s a wonderfully articulated, genuinely moving moment, as the old warhorse appears rejuvinated by this ‘live’ experience. A watershed moment therefore, until a cursory glance at an older 1994 TV special reveals the same old schtick. Reach for those two fingers everyone, and heave…….

Recommended listening

The Way we were (1974)

Essentially a hotchpot of recordings spanning a three year period, Streisand’s second number one album remains as soothing an aural experience – more than forty years on – as it did on its day of release.

A pity therefore, that the album’s opener “Being At War With Each Other,” should feature an intro motif that outstays its welcome by more than 30 seconds. When La Streisand is finally allowed to sing, she wrings forth every nuance of Carole King’s paean to a troubled relationship, adding a sheen of humanitarian empathy to the lyrics: “Everyone comes from one father one mother/So why do we complicate our lives so much/By being at war with each other.”

A further brace of numbers from the December ’73 sessions – Paul Simon’s “Something so right,” and Stevie Wonder’s “All In Love Is Fair,” are masterful cover versions, suitably embuing the album with a contemporaneous feel that belies the age of the accompanying material, most of the material having been recorded three years earlier for an aborted album project called ‘The Singer.’

Elsewhere, the Brooklyn born girl is a trifle restrained on Legrand’s “Summer Me, Winter Me” but suitably intoxicating on Ron Miller and Tom Baird’s “I’ve Never Been a Woman Before.” The title track – a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top selling US single of the year, is presented on the remastered CD edition in two forms, the original studio cut and the film soundtrack version, and whilst the end product should have been spotty and uneven, the album remains undeniably a cohesive and consistent release.


Barbra Streisand Archives