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Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva Hardcover – January 27, 2015
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From the Back Cover
“A startlingly frank look at the life of one of our generation’s most prominent operatic stars.”—Associated Press
In Call Me Debbie, internationally renowned opera singer Deborah Voigt describes her journey to become one of the world’s most celebrated artists and also discusses her private battles with addictions to food and alcohol, and a myriad of other self-destructive tendencies that nearly destroyed her.
Voigt reveals here the troubling sequence of addictive behavior that led to her being fired from a London opera production for being too large to fit into the “little black dress” demanded by the role, and her subsequent gastric bypass surgery and its dramatic aftermath. She speaks openly of the “cross-addiction” that led to severe alcoholism, frightening all-night blackouts, and suicide attempts. Here, too, is the story of how she achieved complete sobriety, thanks to a twelve-step program and a recommitment to her Christian faith.
Highlighting hilarious anecdotes and juicy gossip about what really goes on backstage, Voigt talks candidly about the impresarios, singers, and conductors with whom she’s worked and offers fascinating insight into the roles she has played and the characters she loves.
Complete with eight pages of color photographs, Call Me Debbie is an inspirational story that offers a unique look into the life of an incredible artist.
About the Author
Deborah Voigt is one of the world’s leading dramatic sopranos, internationally revered for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. She has also portrayed some of the iconic heroines in Italian opera to great acclaim. An active recitalist and performer of Broadway standards and popular songs, Voigt appears regularly, as both performer and host, in the Metropolitan Opera’s The Met: Live in HD series. She is also co-creator of Voigt Lessons, a one-woman show she developed with award-winning playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello.
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Top Customer Reviews
Deborah Voigt - born "Debbie Joy Voigt" to teenage parents - has written an interesting autobiography, "Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva". Voigt seems to hold nothing back about her private life, from being raised in a "Christian" home where her parents were alternating between encouraging Debbie's vocal gifts to washing her mouth out with soap for not behaving. She's candid about her addictions to food and liquor and her attempts at losing weight and staying sober. Voigt also writes about her love life, which seems to have been one unavailable lover after another.
Deborah Voigt's professional life, her education, her operatic advancement, and the music and performers she's worked with over the years are also covered with honesty. That "little black dress" debacle at London's Royal Opera House in 2004 when Deborah was fired from a role - "Ariadne" in Richard Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos - because she was too heavy to wear the black dress the director wanted her to wear.Read more ›
It was not at all an easy route for young Debbie. There wasn't much encouragement on the family front, where the musical choices were severely limited. Her parents announced, "We don't want you listening to any of that wild, rock and roll." At first, instead of getting much-needed approval, little Debbie got scorn and shame. Nonetheless, she loved to sing roles from the great musicals such as My Fair Lady and the Sound of Music.
Eventually, when her talent was becoming very obvious, and she was winning awards in school, Debbie finally got some encouragement from her parents, who looked for voice teachers for her. This led her to some kind mentors.
One of the most touching scenes revolves around the "Crystal Cathedral" in Orange County, California. The pastor's wife was an avid opera fan, and had created a music scholarship. She auditioned for, and won that scholarship, and she briefly studied voice with a teacher at that church. At the Crystal Cathedral, Debbie got just the encouragement she needed, after singing to a teacher there: "Listen to me. Please. You REALLY have talent. Your voice is a gift and you've got to do something with it." This prompting led Debbie to her most inspirational teacher, Jane, who became "the most influential voice teacher in my life...Read more ›
Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.
Voigt courageously recounts her frailties in her personal life--compulsive eating, bad relationships, and alcoholism. It seems to me miraculous that, in spite of these problems, she has had such a successful career in opera. I think that, in addition to being a remarkable singer, she is a remarkable human being.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As an opera lover this was an eye opener to someone who seems so perfect on stage.Published 14 days ago by storylady
A remarkably candid and honest account of the life of a supremely gifted human being. It may be a cliche that with great gifts come great burdens, but it is thrilling to know that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Noto
As a fellow opera singer, this was refreshing to read! Thank you for your true honesty Debbie!Published 2 months ago by Bellacanta
Women from all walks of life will identify with this story. Good writing, great read. Brava!Published 2 months ago by Marcia Keeth
Searingly candid autobiography, which I read in two sittings. I have always admired Deborah Voight, but now I have new found respect for her for sustaining such a brilliant... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Flowergirl
Couldn't put it down. I liked that the writing style was very personal and down-to-earth. And it was interesting to follow her as she traveled around the world and worked with... Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. Cullen
An enjoyable and easy read for anyone with an interest in the classical arts. Miss Voigt not only takes you behind the scenes of the world's greatest venues, but she addresses her... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chloe Smart