Rome, August 22 - Opera singers could be the next professionals to be hit by doping scandals, Italian insiders have said, confirming reports in the European media that singers are turning to drugs to deal with the demands of the job.
The highbrow world of opera is rarely grouped with the world of sports but its stars are subject to the same pressures, according to one of Italy's top managers.
Angelo Gabrielli, who has handled a string of internationally renowned stars, said revelations by German tenor Endrik Wottrich, reported in Germany and the UK, were true.
"There are many singers that resort to drugs or even operations - a kind of facelift for the vocal chords - in order to deal with the hectic pace of the job," said Gabrielli."
New generations of managers tend to squeeze everything they can get out of their singers, making them perform as much as possible and subjecting them to incredibly demanding feats.
"Artists therefore become famous, known even among people who aren't involved in the field - but in the end they pay the price artistically and with their career, which only lasts for a few years".