- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Harper (January 27, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062118277
- ISBN-13: 978-0062118271
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 110 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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I'm not a huge opera buff, but my sweetie is, and the show ignited an interest in her story, so I bought the book. I'm really glad I did--it's well-written, lively, upbeat, and unflinching. If I have one criticism it's that there isn't quite enough about the mechanics of singing opera. She tries sometimes too hard to come across as down to earth--while I appreciate the effort, one reason I bought the book was to learn more about opera singing, so I would have enjoyed more details about how it works.
But that's a minor quibble. If you're reading the reviews trying to decide if you want to buy the book, go for it. You won't be sorry. She's fun, lively, and inspiring. And check out the Youtube videos--the one on the "Little Black Dress" incident is laugh-out-loud funny (she mentions making the video in the book).
But offstage, Voigt's life has been painful. Born to a strict and critical father and raised in a rigidly conservative Southern Baptist tradition, Voigt grows up riddled with insecurity. Her demons eventually lead her to a series of unsuitable romances and addictions to food and alcohol.
In this candid and searing autobiography, Voigt describes her successes in opera, jarringly juxtaposed with her failed relationships and struggles with obesity and alcohol. Her memoir ends with a stint in rehab and the early days of a newly sober life, her Yorkshire terrier, Steinway, loyally at her side.
Throughout, Voigt remains intelligent, likable and, despite all her missteps, decent and big-hearted. Her story will encourage the many who struggle with deep-seated insecurities and/or difficult addictions to love, food or alcohol.
Voigt's honesty endears her to the readers. This reader wishes Voigt lifelong recovery from her addictions and personal happiness that matches her glittering career. This is a woman who assuredly deserves delight and serenity in all facets of her life.