If opera singers can thrill with their sound, does it really matter how
much they weigh?


It seems that half of Opera Australia’s singers are off to Weight Watchers after the Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said fat singers need not apply. “If you’re seeing a couple making out and one of them is obese, who wants to watch that?’” he says with a theatrical grimace. “It’s obscene. You just think, ‘Jeez, for Chrissakes, don’t let the children see that,’” he told the Sydney Morning Herald in July.

There is no physical reason why opera singers have to be fat – look at Maria Callas, a rotund singer who lost all the weight, looked magnificent and could still fill the Royal Opera House with that distinctive voice, a mix of chainsaw and exotic bird. Mr Terracini is also within his right to tell his employees to shape up or ship out (I personally know of two OA singers who have been warned that the scales are not tipping...