Music: Fat Out

Most incongruous feature of opera—of all arts the most, wooden—is to watch ponderous paunchy bravos woo and buss great overstuffed divas whilst golden notes soar sonorously. Last week, when John Forsell, onetime (1909-10) baritone with Manhattan's Metropolitan, now chief of Stockholm's Royal Opera House, ordered all his bulky singers to reduce, U. S. operagoers were grateful to him for articulating what had been often thought but seldom said. Fat Swedish stars protested, saying that bulk aids musical beauty and that they sing best when they are well fed. But the order remained.


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