HR Strange But True!
March 17, 2004

Who, nowadays, gets fired for being too fat to fit into a little black cocktail dress?

Opera singer Deborah Voigt, that's who.

The Royal Opera House in London confirmed that it recently canceled a performance by the American soprano Deborah Voigt because of her weight, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reports that Voigt had been scheduled to play the lead in a summer production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, but casting director Peter Katona had selected a black evening dress for the part and believed Voigt would not look right in it.

"Normally Ariadne is presented on a stylized Greek island with the singers wearing toga-type clothes, but we wanted to present it in an elegant, modern evening dress," Katona was quoted as telling The Sunday Telegraph newspaper of London.

"I have big hips, and Covent Garden has a problem with them," she was quoted as saying. "Or at least their casting director, Peter Katona, has the problem, and he's made it clear that I won't be singing in his house as long as he's around. Which is sad."

Katona said: "In making these kinds of decisions, it is not just a question of how someone looks; it is also how they move on stage," the Telegraph reported.

Voigt claims she was under contract for the performance; Katona maintained in an interview that there was no contract.

Source: The Associated Press

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