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Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Not Over Until The Fat Lady Shrinks

Opera isn't what it used to be. Stage directors are starting to insist that opera singers actually do some acting, and that they should actually "look the part" for the role they're singing. This is apparently causing some weight discrimination issues for a few stars, though! This story appeared today on the CBS News website:

Deborah Voigt is back, in black.

The American soprano returns to the Royal Opera House stage Monday, four years after the company fired her for being too big for the little black dress chosen for the title character in Richard Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos." The decision sparked a fierce debate about weight discrimination in opera.

Now a slimmer Voigt is back in the same opera, the same role - and wearing "that" dress.

Full story here...

Well, I guess this is inevitable, since opera is starting to attract a new crowd. I think it may have skipped a generation, because when I go to the opera, I see a lot of old folks, and a lot of young twenty-something folks, and often not much in between! And that's just among the fans. I'm a volunteer chorus singer for a small opera company here in the Des Moines, IA, area. Aside from a few volunteers, though, the company fills out most of the chorus with young paid (barely) apprentices. There is definitely no shortage of young talent now trying to get into opera. As one who has to share cramped backstage space with them, I must say I am grateful for thin sopranos.

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