A Slimmed-Down Diva Keeps Her Vocal Heft

By VIVIEN SCHWEITZER [NY Times, 18 June 2008]
LONDON ó The drama following the 2004 dismissal of the soprano Deborah Voigt from a production of Straussís ìAriadne auf Naxosî at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden here had many elements of the work itself: an opera within an opera that blends comic and tragic aspects and caricatures the lofty ideals of high art. Ms. Voigtís dismissal, because she was too large to wear the cocktail dress stipulated by the director or adhere to his staging concepts, prompted an avalanche of international interest that ranged from buffa laughs about fat ladies singing to ponderous editorials about the meaning of ìsacred artî versus Hollywood ideals of beauty.