Does the size of something determine the way it will perform some duties? This is one question that left me baffled when I was asked, the reason being I was not sure what was being referred to. It is however important to note that the size of an object or person can be classified either in terms of mass of the object / person or the weight of the object / person. For instance in the sports industry, it is common for an athlete to be disqualified from an event he/she has been hoping to participate in for either being overweight or underweight even thou their body masses may not be too large or too small. The same is the case in the entertainment industry (theatre, cinema and music industries) where an artiste may be barred from participating in a particular event because of having an excessive body mass. This forces most of them to go on a dieting process to either reduce the body mass or add body mass in order to fit the role they are required to play.
Purpose of the Paper
The purpose of this argumentative / persuasive paper is to try to debug the notion that the size of an artist should be taken into consideration before they are allowed to play a certain role in an event. This will be in reference to the Opera; an opera is a piece of art that combines all the elements of theater, dance and music to come up with an extra ordinary piece of art. The paper will give several cases where seasoned opera artists were forced to shed weight before being allowed to participate in an event, thereafter the paper will an opinion as to whether the decision taken by the management was fair or not. The paper will close by giving a brief summary of the important points that would have been mentioned in the course of study.
Opera: Does Size Really Matter?
There have been endless debates as to whether overweight Opera singers should be allowed on stage or not. According to Bargreen, some people refer to overweight opera singers as being “body oppressors” because they think they care less about their physical appearance. For example in 2004 a US soprano opera singer Deborah Voigt was prevented from playing the title role in 'Ariadne on Naxos' before she weight 25 stones then, she however managed to shed weight up to 16 stones for her to be allowed to play the role again (The Independent). Other opera artistes who have forced to shed off some weight include, Anna Netrebko, Danielle de Niese, Jonas Kaufmann and many more. On a sad note thou, those opera artiste who perform and yet they are “overweight” are subjected to public ridicule and endless jokes are directed towards them. The question therefore is, does the audience listen to the quality of the voice of the artiste or they are out to admire well curved and beautiful figure of the performer? According to The Independent, most audience connects well with the glamorous and thin singer as opposed to the overweight singer even if she is a better performer than the other.
Discriminating a talented artist because of her body mass or weight is not only demoralizing but it is also traumatizing and most of them are usually forced to seek counseling to overcome the situation. They feel that that their talent is not appreciated and that the audience does not value them as human beings but only appreciate physical beauty and well curved figures.
Point of View: Size Vs Talent
According to White, one of the main reasons that the producers insist that performing artistes should be of a certain body size is that they are required to fit in the specially designed costumes for the occasion. They are supposed to appear “glamorous and sexy” since this will be more appealing to the audience. The people who believe that size matters are stereotypes.
It is important to note that the ability for one to sing, act or dance is a God’s given talent and the body size of the artist doesn’t matter. The same case can be observed in sports personalities who are physically challenged yet they are able to make good use of the God’s given talents and they are successful in their careers. In an opera, the important thing is for the artist to be able to project her voice well and use the correct keys, in addition to that another important thing is for the artist to have the ability to perfectly coordinate stage movement and all this cannot be hindered because of her body mass. An artiste can appear to be overweight but as long as she has the required flexibility then she should be allowed to play her designated role. The media and audiences who attend these concerts should stop being stereotypes and not judge artistes by the sizes of their bodies but the quality of entertainment they offer while on stage. It is however important for the artiste’s to stick by the rules and regulations required in their field of specialization to avoid public ridicule and humiliation from the public and other team members.
Summation of the Paper
This augmentative paper has critically looked at the issue of size as it is interpreted by opera performers. The paper has given various examples of opera performers who have been forced to shed weight before being allowed to take up take up roles in operas. In conclusion, the paper has closed by giving a personal point of view on whether it is the talent or size that matters or not when it comes to opera performance.