- The situation turns more dire with the arrival of Mamma Agatha ( a baritone role ), the mother of the seconda donna.
- Elizabeth, the prima donna of " Roberto Devereux, " is the seconda donna of " Maria Stuarda, " so the " trilogy " required different sopranos in that part, defying conventional continuity.
- I hate the artistic snobbery of it . " Marguerite de Valois, too, is not the leading female role in " Les Huguenots ", but Melba was willing to undertake it as " seconda donna " to Emma Albani.
- Otherwise, not one but two singers were available : Teresa Cotti ( or Cotte ), from Milan, a longstanding " seconda donna ", who had played the role of Salustia in a previous setting of " Alessandro Severo "; and the young Anna Mazzoni, who had been active in Naples for a couple of years and would go on to have a career as a " prima donna " across Italy and Europe in the 1740s.
- Following the conventions of the operatic theatre of the time the company was usually supposed to consist of a couple of female singers to take the roles of " prima " and " seconda donna " ( first and second ladies ); a couple of " musici " ( " musicians ", a euphemistic term for " bass ) for the roles of father, general or rival-if the characters were good-or, more often, the villain; and probably other singers used in the tertiary roles, of little importance and often even lacking independent arias.