09 December 2004

Drop the Bruennhilde, how about Tannhaeuser?

Breaking News

The Associated Press reviewer Ronald Blum's Met Tannhaeuser review spread all across the highlands and the heartland, from Wichita to San Luis Obispo, from Myrtle Beach to Macon, with accuracy oozing right from the top of the piece. Never mind the extra letter in the name (La Miricioioioiu doesn't complain), but the news is that Deborah Voigt has become the leading heldentenor of our generation overnight. (Being the home of "everything classical", the folks at andante.com thankfully knew better, dropping the sensational title for their own.)

Across the AP world, the 80-lb estimate has become fact with these words:

Since the controversy over London's Royal Opera cutting her from a Strauss production last spring because she wouldn't fit into a little black dress, the American soprano has dropped about 80 pounds.
Apparently, I wasn't the only hack reviewer sitting in the bleachers with sucky opera glasses. (Or else, I should probably ponder a new career as country fair spectacle, open my own "Guess the Weight" booth, and guess redstatefolk's poundage from up atop a Ferris Wheel.)

The fat blog and the low-carb forums are in a consuming uproar on the news.

I didn't realize that La Voigt lost the same 80 pounds years ago; therefore, the lipid estimate has precedence and may indeed have some historical credibility. According to the Seattle Times:
Her case is a particularly interesting one. She's a beautiful woman with blond hair and brilliant blue eyes. Several years ago, she lost 80 pounds and looked extremely glamorous. When Voigt came to Seattle in 1999 to make her debut here in "Der Freisch├╝tz," however, she had already regained about half the lost weight, after undergoing a painful divorce.
Who knew she was even married? I suspect though that the 80-lb loss level may have a deeper physiological basis for singers (some sort of a safe limit to preserve the integrity of the voice), as the other leading heldentenor Ben Heppner was estimated (by no less than J.Jo. at GCN) to have lost the same amount prior to his Enee's at the Met ... Or, we don't know what the f* we're talking about, and 80 is just a nice, credible number (isn't as improbable as the round three-digit 100, yet still more remarkable than, say 50-60 pounds, which is what each of the Biggest Losers may eventually lose after their freakshow is over).

For those like moi who don't have any reliable concept of sheer poundage, this is what 80 lbs. looks like (a weight set and a whole piece of ivory):

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