Why are opera singers fat
There is a popular belief that all opera singers are fat or opera singers must be fat in order to become opera singers. The truth is that it is part myth and part fact. Opera singers are often portrayed in movies and books as being fat, and that is the reason as to why it has become a popular myth today. Nonetheless, such a perception must have some sort of a real connection with the truth and it indeed does. Opera singers of the past did not quite have the luxury of microphones to amplify their voices, but they had the huge opera houses which they needed to fill with the power of their voices alone. As one can guess, this meant that opera singers needed to be people with particularly powerful vocal cords that would enable them to sing in a loud voice with perfect clarity. It is for this reason that opera singers were often people of somewhat large build. Singers with large and wide bone structures usually have a booming voice, but one should note that they did not HAVE to be fat or large, just loud and clear. However, when these large singers put on their heavy attires and came out to sing in public, they appeared bigger and fatter than they actually were. One should also consider the fact that these people with strong vocal cords and wide structures could just as well be fat or become fat in the course of time. In spite of the fact that these singers NEED not have been fat, they COULD have been as nothing was forbidding it. It was not uncommon for an opera singer to BECOME fat either, because nobody expected them to maintain their weight as they were not judged on the basis their looks, but were judged on their vocal skills alone. Since their vocal abilities were seldom affected by what they weighed, most of them indulged themselves when it came to food and liquor.
“It’s not over till the fat lady sings”
The above line is popularly used as an idiom and it is indeed related to the world of opera. The German opera, known as “Helden” is responsible for this line and also partly the reason behind the concept of fat female opera singers with long blonde twin-braided wigs, a long stick and a head gear with Viking horns on them. These singers were famous for their “dramatic sopranos” just before the play ended.
Not all of them though
The most common mistake is to think that ALL opera singers had to be like the ones mentioned above; on the contrary, “coloratura” voices (one of the most appreciated and beautiful voices of opera) are often produced by women of comparatively smaller and slimmer stature. This exemplifies the fact that the structure of the opera singer is often related to the role he/she plays and vice versa. Similarly, a “dramatic soprano” (another popular voice of opera, but of a much higher and powerful note) is usually delivered on stage by singers with powerful vocal cords and the build that often accompanies such a voice.