Saturday, June 14, 2008

Soprano Deborah Voigt lost 120 pounds after gastric bypass surgery

New York, NY
Deborah Voigt chuckles when I ask her about the brouhaha over the skimpy frock she couldn't fit into that delighted the often dull world of grand opera.

In 2003 Voigt was obese, as she herself admits, and was dropped from a revival of Richard Strauss's ``Ariadne auf Naxos'' at the Royal Opera House in London. ``Inappropriate casting in this particular production,'' said the house, and paid off her contract.

In Christof Loy's staging, the character of Ariadne wears a silky and close-fitting outfit, and is required to roll on the floor. In fairness to the Royal Opera, Voigt had been booked to sing before the staging had been designed.

``In terms of the production, it was the right decision to drop me from the role,'' says the American soprano with a shrug. ``I still think it could have been worked through however. We could have come to a mutually satisfying result.''

When Voigt went public, the media had a field day about the rights and wrongs of realism in opera. The uproar became known as ``the affair of the little black dress.''

Voigt, 47, is now 120 pounds lighter after gastric bypass surgery, and has been invited back to London to sing Ariadne in the same staging. The soprano says she hopes that certain ghosts now will be laid to rest. More >>

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