While Christina is enjoying the the warm sun in Miami, Ana is holding down the political front in Brooklyn, and little me (the “J” in JACOPERA) just finished trekking through Fuorisalone in Milan, we agreed that today’s feature goes to Deborah Voigt — or as she prefers, Debbie.
This modern Diva got her start on the West Coast (California, my home-state), and she debuted in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Boston Lyric Opera (C – is competing up there next month), AND just last year, HarperCollins published her autobiography Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva (A – went to the Green Festival in NYC and she has a mean green thumb… okay, a stretch), but she certainly IS one of the most relatable, sassy, honest, and wildly talented Divas that embody the vocal strength and fierceness that we admire.
But as any modern, Down-to-earth, or otherwise named Diva will admit she met controversy in 2005 when she was let go from a production because she could not fit into the character’s little black dress, and was thus labelled “too fat” to sing. The opera world went into a frenzy and in the years following she had many struggles in her personal and professional life. She lost a lot of weight since then and many critics have said, just as they did of Callas at the end of her career, the voice was forever changed.
We believe that a singer, is a singer, is a singer. We’re human, and humans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and markings. And as Callas said, “You are born an artist or you are not. And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks. The artist is always there.”
Here is Debbie portraying an impeccable Manon.
Good evening, Divas, keep singing. It’s never over.