Singer weighs into ‘Dumpygate’ affair while Times and Independent critics offer halfhearted apologies.

Opera critics who referred to mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught as “dumpy” and “unsightly and unappealing” in Glyndebourne’s new productionof Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, have been labelled “bullies” by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The 70-year-old soprano currently touring Australia told BBC Radio 4 that she thought the critics were irresponsible. “Who’s going to pick up the pieces after they’ve finished? Who’s going to put that little girl in a darkened room and who is actually going to counsel her to get over this?”

Dame Kiri said that she thought Erraught was “gorgeous” and suggested that she should burn the newspapers. “Don’t listen to a single person and get on with your life,” she said. Appealing to the critics, Dame Kiri said, “Please don’t destroy her, it’s cruel… Young people are dying because of being bullied. This is very, very serious.”

However, the singer also thought that the problem might have stemmed from a “costume disaster” suggesting that the opera company might have “taken their eye off the ball” as a result of the recent death of former Glyndebourne chairman Sir George Christie.

“Take that wig off,...