It isn't over - the fat lady can sing again, says Royal Opera

Directors of the Royal Opera Company, which dropped Deborah Voigt, the American star soprano, because she was too fat, said yesterday they hoped she would perform with the company in the near future.

Directors of the Royal Opera Company, which dropped Deborah Voigt, the American star soprano, because she was too fat, said yesterday they hoped she would perform with the company in the near future.

A statement from the company said they "deeply regretted" that the issue had become public over the weekend and that Voigt, 43, one of the world's most sought-after singers, might have "wrongly perceived" that she would not be asked to perform at the theatre under its present management.

A spokesman for the company confirmed that Voigt had been dropped from the lead role in a summer production of Richard Strauss's Ariadne on Naxos because Peter Director, the casting director, believed that Voigt would not look right in the black evening dress selected for the character. Voigt's weight is a closely guarded secret, but it is believed to be in the region of 200lbs.

Albert Imperato, Voigt's publicist, said she was performing in Switzerland and had not yet seen the Royal Opera's statement. He said: "I do not know what her view will be of performing there in future. She is a big-hearted person - very forgiving - but I do not know what her attitude will be. Of course they should want to work with her because she is one of the world's most acclaimed singers and is at the height of her powers."

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