Diva Sheds Pounds, Retains Booming Voice

Four years ago, Deborah Voigt, an extremely talented and dynamic soprano opera singer, was dropped from a production in London's Royal Opera House. The reason? She was "too big" for the black dress that the role called for.

Tonight, after shedding more than 100 pounds, Voigt makes her triumphant return, not only to London's Royal Opera House but to the very role that she was fired from so many pounds ago.

"To be back here singing this role in this dress is a personal triumph," Voigt told "Good Morning America."

To lose the weight, Voigt turned to gastric bypass surgery after trying several weight-loss programs.

"Oh, I tried everything -- Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, everything," Voigt said. "But when you have so much weight to lose, it's really difficult because you don't see results quick enough and you become discouraged."


Voigt's main concern before the surgery was its effect on her powerful voice, according to a report by CBS News. But judging by the curtain calls that followed a post-surgery performance in "Tristan and Isolde," the surgery seems to have made her voice, if anything, more beautiful.

The director of that production, James Conlon, credits the surgery with the perceived improvement.

"You can sustain yourself," Conlon told CBS. "You can sustain your breath better. You have less work to do just to move around."

Voigt claims that the Royal Opera House's actions did not influence her to have the operation.

"I did it because I wasn't feeling well, because my knees were hurting, because I would cross the street and feel as though I wasn't going to be able to catch my breath," Voigt told "Good Morning America." "Because, 'Oh my lord, I might have to sit in that chair at dinner and there are arms on it. And will I fit into that chair?'"

But now Voigt does not have those worries and, instead, bubbles with confidence.

"I am able to play the pretty girl parts with much more conviction, and that's really something that is very satisfying."

Tonight Deborah Voigt will finally don that little black dress, starring as Ariadne in "Ariadne auf Naxos" back at London's Royal Opera House and one thing is certain: When it is all over, the fat lady will not be singing.