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Friday 19 September 2014

Critics call Irish opera singer's appearance ‘dumpy’ and a ‘chubby bundle of puppy-fat’

Critics get personal on acclaimed Dundalk singer

Published 21/05/2014 | 08:24

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Tara Erraught with her former singing teacher Geraldine McGee at the special tribute concert in Wellington Hall last Sunday afternoon.

Critics of a young Irish opera singer have turned personal with a series of disparaging remarks about her appearance.

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Tara Erraught (27) who graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, stars as Octavian in the Strauss opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Glyndebourne Festival.

The Dundalk singer was described in the Daily Telegraph as ‘dumpy’ while the Financial Times said how her character is a “chubby bundle of puppy-fat”.

Ms Erraught’s international stature has been growing, and recently she’s been busy performing at a world premiere, three role debuts and a second US tour.

The Financial Times’ Andrew Clark wrote: “Tara Erraught’s Octavian is a chubby bundle of puppy-fat, better suited to playing Mariandel in Acts 1 and 3 than the romantic rose-cavalier of Act 2 – albeit gloriously unsung.”

While The Telegraph’s Rupert Christiansen wrote: “The other problem is Tara Erraught’s Octavian. There is no doubt of the talent of this young Irish mezzo, based in Germany, who sings with vibrant assurance and proves herself a spirited comedian.”

“But she is dumpy of stature and whether in bedroom dishabille, disguised as Mariandel or in full aristocratic fig, her costuming makes her resemble something between Heidi and Just William.”

A spokesperson for the singer said she is “focused on the music and preparing on her upcoming performances” and said she will make no further statement.

Meanwhile, a piece in the Guardian by Kate Lowe, said the critics had failed to take into account the practical implications of size and shape in operatic performance.

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