Deborah Voigt: Not a day goes by when I don’t want to eat a cake

The great Wagnerian soprano has written frankly about how she spiralled into addictive behaviours and bad relationships, rebuilding her life and work after bariatic surgery.

But in this exclusive new interview with Zsolt Bognar she addresses the connection between operatic life and obsessive conduct, and the denial that prevails about body shape and well being. ‘I don’t believe anyone who weighs 300 pounds is happy with it,’ she says.

But she adds that weight criticism is always directed at women singers, seldom at men.

In this gentle, compelling conversation, Deborah Voigt displays a self-awareness rare among artists and a sense of true proportion between life and work.

For her last ambition she says, ‘I would like to have a really fulfilling personal life.’

deborah voigt2

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  • I heard her most recently sing the concert world premiere of Roscoe (book by William Kennedy). Not only did she sing beautifully, but it was so gracious of her to have taken on this work in a setting far less glamorous than her usual venues.

  • She seems indeed a very sympathetic person. And her voice is truly breautiful. I am only puzzled by her lack of expression on the CD ‘Wagner Love Duets’ (EMI classics 2000) which demonstrates her beautiful sound (and that of the marvellous ROH orchestra under Pappano), and great musicality, but there is just no expression in her line, and that is definitely not typical for ‘Wagner sopranos’.

  • If anyone doubts Ms. Voigt’s sincerity…having had the good fortune to have spent time with her professionally, I can assure you that she is every bit as thoughtful, honest, and kind as she appears to be in this wonderful interview. An extraordinary person.

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