The Dundalk-born mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught captured national headlines last week for all the wrong reasons.
The 27-year-old was made her UK stage debut at the 80th anniversary season of the Glyndebourne opera festival playing Octavian in Strauss’s comic masquerade. However her fantastic performance was overshadowed by critics who called her “unbelievable, unsightly and unappealing” and described her as “a chubby bundle of puppy-fat”.
Over the week leading opera figures came to the defence of the mezzo soprano who was playing the part of a boy.
Fellow mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnstone, asked: “How, then, have we arrived at a point where opera is no longer about singing but about the physiques and looks of the singers, specifically the female singers?”
“Barely any mention of her voice, a gloriously rounded and well produced instrument, was made, and there was little comment on her musicianship, dramatic commitment or her ability to communicate to an audience and to move that audience to tears.”
Tara graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and has been a member of the Bavarian State Opera since 2008.