Monday, March 16, 2009



As I have been flitting around the internet and blogosphere lately, I am constantly reminded of the infinite varieties of "cheese" that exist as far as "opera for the masses" goes. Please excuse me while I don my over-educated, music-snob, snarky-opera-singer, big powdered wig for this post.

I was just on kirtsy and for reasons that I do not know, I knowingly clicked on a link of Il Divo singing Amazing Grace (and no, there is no hyperlink. I'm not giving them the free publicity). I can't say that it was amazing or graceful. In fact, it made me kinda wish I was chewing broken glass instead of listening.

It wasn't surprising. I know it's out there. I have had to smile countless times when people find out I'm an opera singer and start in with, "OMGosh, I just love Sarah Brightman. And have you seen Phantom of the Opera? And I just got Paul Potts' new CD yesterday. Isn't he amazing?" Oh, totally! In a very not-even- mediocre kinda way. I imagine myself as a calculus professor standing around at cocktail parties listening to people blurt out incorrect equations, all the while nodding politely.

So yeah, I guess I'm a snob. Or maybe not. It's just annoying when something is presented to the masses as "opera" and it couldn't be further from the truth. If I have to hear one more hack sing Nessun dorma, I think I might throw myself off a water tower.

Paul Potts does NOT sing Nessun dorma. Il Divo does NOT sing Nessun dorma. Andrea Bocelli does NOT sing Nessun dorma. And Russel Wats-his-name does NOT sing Nessun dorma. Luciano Pavarotti sings Nessun dorma.

Observe that when he sings, veins do not pop out of his neck, nor does his face does turn blood red, nor is he standing on his tip toes clawing at the air in front of him and his vocal cords are not flying out of his mouth. No, the sound pours out of him effortlessly as if the gods were willing it out of his mouth. That, my friends is opera...not to be confused with "popera".

And lest anyone think Sarah Brightman has any business singing Rusalka's "Song to the Moon", feast your ears on Renee Fleming--an ACTUAL diva singing it in the original Czech...and she does so WITHOUT a mermaid outfit or glittery eyeshadow or a gawd-aweful headdress that looks like it's attacking her. Just pure class, fantastic vocal technique and a sound that is gorgeous without being run through the spin cycle.

And with that, I am stepping off my soap box. Your music lesson is over and you may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.

1 comment:

  1. I actually own a Renee Fleming cd and I think she's fabulous. I could sit and listen and watch the world pass by you know? Hey you would know better than I do what opera is so soap box away!