Tara Erraught and Kate Royal in Der Rosenkavalier
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Opera critics 'cruel' to judge singer on appearance

22 May 2014 Last updated at 11:16 BST

A costume "disaster" was at fault for the criticism received by Glyndebourne singer Tara Erraught, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has said.

The Irish-born mezzo soprano was called "stocky" and "dumpy" by critics, all of them male, after her debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier this weekend.

But opera singer Dame Kiri advised Ms Erraught to "burn the papers", describing the critics' comments as "cruel".

She spoke to Today's Justin Webb.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 22 May.

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