Opera downsizes as Italy’s divas go on hunger strike

Silvio_Berlusconi.jpgSingers and staff take drastic action in protest at budget cuts
Barbara McMahon in Rome [The Observer, 13 November 2005]
Opera lovers in Italy this season may notice something different about the performers. Many of them are looking distinctly svelte after going on hunger strike to protest about proposed cuts to the country’s arts budget. Living on only water, fruit juice and coffee, singers’ weights have shrunk.