A mezzo-soprano in the Huffington Post writes she is frequently told: “Aren’t you too thin to sing opera?” The rest of her article is incoherent so I conclude she is boasting.
Pundits used say the beanpoles could never match the fatties. But times have changed. A year or two ago the NY Met required Debra Voigt to undergo a rather hideous operation, and lose several stones (1 st =14 lb), in order to keep on singing there. Last year, via HD TV, I saw a comparatively svelte Debra sing the socks off Brunnhilde.
I can offer only anecdotal comment. CLICK HERE to see and hear gorgeously slender and gorgeously larynxed blonde Miah Persson (Fiordiligi) and similarly endowed Anke Vondung (Dorabella) unite in Soave Sia Il Vento in Glyndebourne’s Cosi.
CLICK HERE to hear Janet Baker and Montserrat Caballé (sound only; sorry about the paragliding) doing the same thing. On the avoirdupois front Janet could affectionately be called voluptuous. Montserrat, I fear, always resembled pre-op Debra.
Both are terrific performances. Which is the better? It isn’t apples vs. apples. The voices of Persson/Vondung are less often clearly identified whereas Baker and Caballé are quite separate throughout and profit (I think) from a wider range recording. But there are those who are going to be influenced by the Glyndebourne duo’s loveliness, especially near the end when Fiordiligi reaches out to take Dorabella’s hand.
I could have done fellas but it’s not as much fun