Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Maria Gay (13 June 1879 - 20 July 1943) was a Catalan opera singer, a mezzo-soprano born as Maria de Lourdes Lucia Antonia Pichot Gironés. She has sometimes been referred to as Maria Gay Zenatello. According to one story, young Maria was arrested for singing revolutionary or nationalist songs. She defiantly continued to sing them in prison, with a voice so fine she was offered a chance to study bel canto. She was a singing pupil of soprano Ada Adini. In 1897 she married Catalan composer Joan Gay i Planella. In 1902 she debuted in the title role of Carmen in Brussels. She was a hit in the role and became one of the best regarded interpreters of "Carmen" of her era. She reportedly shocked and mesmerized audiences, portraying the gypsy girl as an impudent, magnetic, but coarse and unrefined peasant, eating an orange and spitting out the seeds before singing the famous Habanera.
Battlefields is François-Marie Banier's celebration of gay culture at its most flamboyant and proud. Comprised of photos taken at Gay Prides in Brussels, London, New York, Paris and Rome between 1994 and 2018, Banier captures the full glamorous spectrum of those parading, all the feathers, sequins and leather, but, more importantly, also the characters beneath the make-up and wigs-"I photograph the poetry, the humor, the confrontation with blinkered convention." Havinglost close friends to AIDS, he remembers the tragedy of "this elusive, diabolical virus," but also the compassion of those who nursed and supported its victims: "More than angels. Such delicate devotion, full of invention. Loyalty, so touching, overwhelming." For Banier, light inevitably conquers darkness: "I follow and paint as usual with my camera, almost always in black and white. The wild ones, the choir boys, those crowned with Valda throat drops, the notaries in their fancy dress, the babes of Gala and Salvador Dalí-storytellers from every country, a whole world that knows how to laugh and to pray."