Why The Fat Lady Doesn't Sing

Perhaps because its stars must regularly don Viking helmets, opera seemed to be the last performing art in which talent still mattered more than looks. That was until London's Royal Opera at Covent Garden denied leading soprano DEBORAH VOIGT her signature role of Ariadne in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos because the well-fed diva couldn't fit into the little black dress the casting director had to fill. "I have big hips," Voigt told London's Sunday Telegraph, "and Covent Garden has a problem with them." The opera house said it "deeply regrets" that the weight issue became public.

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