Friday, October 04, 2013

Too Many Fatso Opera Stars Ruin Performances

I'm an opera fan.  I've attended performances of the San Francisco Opera since 2005.  It's fun to see the spectacle on stage and hear powerful voices.  It is not fun to see fat slobs pretending to be opera stars.  This is a problem that cries out for remedy.

Fatsos in the opera pose a number of obvious problems.  Their extra girth burdens the stage.  You know how old and creaky some of the stages are at opera houses?  Well, some are even older than that.  A fat opera singer puts undue stress on the floorboards.  If they fall through the floor someone has to patch the hole and unionized crews charge extortionate rates for work these days.  Does your local metropolitan opera company want that kind of walking liability on their stage?  I don't think so.

Fat opera singers make productions more expensive.  Just imagine the extra material that goes into making their costumes.  That's twice the fabric right there compared to the cost of clothing for someone with a svelte figure.  I'll betcha catering is more expensive when tubbies are backstage.

Fatties are more of a financial risk because of their poor health.  Luciano Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer and obesity is one of the disease's risk factors.  The guy probably could have extended his life expectancy if he had dieted.  Any opera company that expected to put him under contract toward the end of his life was out of luck.  Contrast his story with Deborah Voigt.  The London opera company that fired her from a production she was too chubby to perform still had to pay out her contract.  She lost over 100 pounds to become more marketable and it paid off.  She even looks healthier now than in her early days, as seen in her own parody video of her weight loss.  The lesson is clear.  Singers who keep up their health and appearance extend the length of their careers and enhance their earnings.  Opera companies and recording labels are wise to bet on slim singers.

The single most important reason for getting rid of obese opera singers is to have believable performers in a role.  There is zero scientific evidence for the long-held conventional wisdom in opera that heavier singers have better voices.  There is plenty of evidence that physically attractive people are more desirable employees.  Nothing is more laughable than a fat man portraying a Casanova-like adventurer or a fat woman portraying a Salome-like seductress.  Give me a break already.  Drama requires suspension of disbelief  but there's no way an overweight performer is believable in a romantic role.  Overweight people are simply less marketable.

Bring on the hot chicks like Anna Netrebko and Angela Gheorghiu who like to show off their goodies on stage.  Those gals deserve to be in the limelight because audiences want to see attractive performers.  Modern opera goers increasingly favor performers who can execute a full range of drama in addition to vocal projection and intonation.  We are all sick and tired of seeing walking lard buckets perform works of art.