Internationally renown soprano Deborah Voigt made a surprise entrance during the OnStage Gala at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House Saturday night.
As Voigt’s name was announced, the glitzed-out crowd turned its eyes to the stage, only to be distracted by beautiful music coming from the middle of the new hall.
As she made her way to the stage, Voigt sang an aria that opens Act II of Richard Wagner’s Tannhauser, in which the character sings the praises of “a great hall.” It was Voigt’s way of acknowledging the Winspear, the opera world’s latest gem, which opened Friday, Oct. 23, to rave reviews, especially for its acoustics.
Voigt spent the next 45 minutes entertaining the crowd with Broadway tunes like “Vanilla Ice Cream” from “She Loves Me;” the timeless “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady;” and then added a bit of Steven Sondheim with “Losing My Mind.” Voigt’s musical director for the evening was Broadway director and pianist Ted Sperling.
After her performance, the sold-out audience was treated to a gourmet supper catered by Wolfgang Puck on the spectacularly decorated Ted and Shannon Skokos Stage, followed by a silent auction that included designer shopping sprees and first-class trips to Paris and Venice.
Voigt pokes fun at her much-publicized "battle of the bulge" in this clip called "The Return of the Little Black Dress." In 2004, Voigt was removed from the role of Ariadne at the Royal Opera House in London when she could not fit into one of the costumes, a little black dress. After gastric bypass surgery, she lost 100 pounds and went from a size 30 to a size 14.
Here's a clip of Voigt, prior to gastric bypass surgery, singing "Dich, Teure Halle," the aria from "Tannhauser," that she sang to open Saturday night's gala at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.
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