In an interview with AFP, the Cuban-American soprano confesses that in 2005, she weighed 95 kilograms (210 lbs). Now, she weighs just 56, having lost weight to save her career.

She adds:  ‘body-shaming is not acceptable’. She is tired of “rich patrons saying ‘Oh, I am so glad you’re not fat, like so and so’ — because they think they are entitled to say things like that.”

Read on here.


The IsangYun International Cello Competition at Tongyeong, South Korea, has ended with a joint first prize for Christine Jeong Hyoun Lee, 27 and Sang Eun Lee, 25, both from South Korea.

Let’s pretend to be surprised.

Joyce DiDonato in Berlioz’s chef d’oevure comes live today from Vienna at 1630 local, 1530 UK time/1030 New York.

Just click here.

It beats Le Carré on the BBC and Trump on the beauty of barbed wire.

A twitter of speculation about the future of the Royal Opera House music director has been firmly quashed this morning by Fiona Maddocks, in an interview with Sir Antonio Pappano in the Observer:

The Royal Opera House will confirm on Monday that Pappano, 58, is to remain as music director until “at least” the end of the 2022/23 season. Appointed in 2002, he will become the longest-serving music director in its history. He will take a year’s sabbatical in the 2019/20 season.

“For a conductor, a sabbatical means working on scores, thinking afresh,” he says. You can’t imagine him drumming his fingers, except to work out a particularly tricky rhythm in a piece of Harrison Birtwistle. During his year out, Pappano will work at La Scala, Milan, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Staatsoper, Berlin.

“I’m happy to guest conduct, which I’ve hardly done for the past decade. I’ll also work with young musicians. As a conductor, you are also a teacher. There’s no voodoo involved.”

This ends speculation, for now, about his successor. Rumoured front-runners have included the British-born Edward Gardner, 43, and the Latvian Andris Nelsons, 39, but a woman may enter the frame by 2023. An ROH spokesman says there’s “no active search” at the moment.

So there?

Not quite. Read on here:

There’s some bluff here…

The trumpet virtuoso and bandleader Roy Hargrove died on Friday night of cardiac arrest in a New York hospital, where he had been admitted with kidney failure.

He had been on dialysis for several years.

Hargrove, a protege of Wynton Marsalis, was seen as a bridge between jazz traditions and contemporary hip-hop.

Obituary here.

From a Slipped Disc reader:

While I was buying drinks at the bar in the first interval of Götterdämmerung yesterday at Covent Garden, two distressed audience members came up to complain. They had pre-ordered champagne and sandwiches before start-up, but when they reached the appointed place the goodies had been nicked

The bar staff didn’t appear at all surprised and gave them replacements. Was this a Nibelung raid, or do ROH patrons paying £250 or so a seat not scruple at scoffing other peoples’ nosh?

Any more first world problems?

It’s the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, trying out instruments made from plastic with a 3D printer.