"Operas don't just disappear," says San Diego Opera Director Ian Campbell, speaking of his company's imminent closure at season's end. "Especially not 50-year institutions operating near the top of the field. Somebody has to get rid of them. And in this case, somebody did."
Campbell is speaking of The Fat Lady, a legendary — some say mythical — criminal mastermind said to have the power to end opera companies simply by raising her voice.
Critics have been quick to dismiss Campbell, pointing instead to dropped donations during the recent economic difficulties, the rising popularity of hip-hoperas such as R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet, and sharp advances in couch-comfort technology. But at least some people think Campbell is right. "The Fat Lady has dogged opera since the days of Bugs Bunny," says Betty Nordlinger, chairwoman of the San Diego chapter of CRONE [Crazy Rich Opera Nonagenarian Enthusiasts] . Our organization has spent millions in its efforts to silence her. But it looks like she's struck again. And now it's over."
Anyone with information regarding The Fat Lady or her whereabouts is encouraged to contact the San Diego Police Department. But the Department warns that no attempt should be made to engage or apprehend her. "Between the spear and the horny helmet," says new SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman, "at this point, we have to consider her armed and extremely corpulent."