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Susan Boyle sings on "Britain's Got Talent"

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Trebor
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If you haven't seen this YouTube video, please do yourself a favor and watch it.

There's a long version, well worth watching, but if you want to get right to her introduction and song, "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables, there's a shorter version.

Don't give up watching -- you may think it's going to be rediculous, but it's not -- I believe that you'll be surprised and extremely happy for the experience.

Enjoy!

The lyrics which she sings are (an abbreviated version of the song):

"I Dreamed a Dream"

[Fantine is left alone, unemployed and destitute]

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

When hope was high

And life worth living

I dreamed that love would never die

I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid

And dreams were made and used and wasted

There was no ransom to be paid

No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night

With their voices soft as thunder

As they tear your hope apart

And they turn your dream to shame

And still I dream he'll come to me

That we will live the years together

But there are dreams that cannot be

And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be

So different from this hell I'm living

So different now from what it seemed

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Edited by Trebor
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It was compelling TV, I'll give 'em that much, but I couldn't watch it(the video) all the way. I assume she sings all the way through and then gets a teary applause. Sure, she can sing, but for those who are pretending that they're watching that show because they love art and music: that song, like all the others, is available, sung as well or better, without all the surrounding spectacle and awfulness.

I'm more familiar with American Idol than whatever this show is called, but in my view the songs are just an excuse for a neatly packaged Maury Povitch or Jerry Springer type content, for those who are too much snobs to watch those two shows, but are nevertheless interested in them.

Those interested in music watch opera and listen to music, not TV shows that grade contestants. And, by the way, those interested in contests watch sports, not TV shows in which looking pretty but showing emotional weakness or being a mess are the "qualities" sought after.

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Jake Ellison Ranted

Ellison, I am an opera singer myself. I do not watch these shows, but sometimes they are an excellent vehicle for people who have talent to break out. Boyle is not an opera singer (and neither is Paul Potts, for the record), but she has a very promising musical theater instrument- very reminiscent of Elaine Paige, actually- and I can see how she might have faced inconvenience-- nowadays the musical theater and opera worlds focus more on looking hot than singing hot. Don't believe me? Explain the debacle that is Rolando Villazón, who now cracks on anything above a G 50% of the time and yet is beloved everywhere, or Natalie Dessay who can barely spin out a legato line anymore yet she keeps getting cast for Bel Canto roles (that Sonnambula of hers was an embarrassment)? Filianotti sank in Lucia and everything afterward, but he still keeps coming back, whereas average-looking singers with better vocal materials such as Beczala get less appointments since they are not good as 'cover girls'. Nowadays most opera and musical theater companies cast aside excellent voices with acting abilities for mediocre or average voices that have a nice package.

Look at the recent "Vanity Fair" article that talked about how there are 'no more fatties' in the opera world, and look at the ridiculous montage they put up for their rag:

opera-singers-0905-01a.jpg

In that group of signers there is maybe ONE singer who can actually match the great singers of the past (and in that, barely), which is Netrebko on the far right (and she is doing some questionable singing nowadays). You know who would be missing from this article (and most media attention) if they were singing today?

Stupenda.jpg

"La Stupenda" Dame Joan Sutherland, a glorious soprano who just happened to be built like a battleship and had a jaw that could crack icebergs, but who was one of the greatest sopranos of the late 20th century.

Luciano Pavarotti who, before he lost his mind for publicity, was still one of the greatest tenors of our time. He also had enough girth to encompass two Rolando Villazones.

Or

Montserrat_Caballe.jpg

Montserrat Caballé, one of the most stunning voices ever heard and an amazing musician, though never much of an actress. Nevertheless her interpretations of many Callas roles are now legend. She was quite a plum bonbon and definitely would not have made it in the above picture either.

So I can see why this woman decided to take the fight to a place where her shock value could have a use. She subverted the medium by drawing attention to the discrepancy of her looks and what everybody considers singers "should" look.

Boyle obviously has the chops, and her belting is appropriate for musical theater- though obviously not the old-school Lerner & Lowe/Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, which require more of a classical training approach. If this helps Boyle get some appointments in musical theater or training, the better for her. I am surprised at your stream of bitterness directed against this woman who made a good impression based on a talent she has cultivated, using it in an occasion that could be beneficial for its further development. Would you have felt righteously justified if she had crashed and burnt?

Edited by kainscalia
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It was compelling TV, I'll give 'em that much, but I couldn't watch it(the video) all the way. I assume she sings all the way through and then gets a teary applause. Sure, she can sing, but for those who are pretending that they're watching that show because they love art and music: that song, like all the others, is available, sung as well or better, without all the surrounding spectacle and awfulness.

I'm more familiar with American Idol than whatever this show is called, but in my view the songs are just an excuse for a neatly packaged Maury Povitch or Jerry Springer type content, for those who are too much snobs to watch those two shows, but are nevertheless interested in them.

Those interested in music watch opera and listen to music, not TV shows that grade contestants. And, by the way, those interested in contests watch sports, not TV shows in which looking pretty but showing emotional weakness or being a mess are the "qualities" sought after.

In this case, I can emphatically say that it's your loss.

You could have easily fit in with that audience, and with the judges, who before she began singing had already dismissed her, rolling their eyes and laughing at her. (But, unlike you, they offered her sincere justice and appreciation after her performance.)

This woman showed a great deal of courage to stand before an audience, and judges, who were mocking her from the start (which she foiled in a confident manner, setting everyone up to be shocked by her performance), yet still calmly, determinedly, confidently (well-deserved) and courageously stunned them all with a perfectly picked song, "I Dreamed a Dream." (To which one of the judges commented, just prior to her beginning to sing, after asking her what she was going to sing, "Okay. Think so." Meaning that in his view she was obviously and ridiculously dreaming a dream, deluded to believe that she had any potential to achieve her own dream, to become a professional singer as successful as Elaine Page.)

Miss Boyle won the audience and the judges in the face of gross presumptions. She's not a professional singer, but she has a dream, and she dared to take advantage of an opportunity that would not have existed were it not for such a show.

Thank you, kainscalia (and others here), for the justice you've shown to this remarkable woman.

Edited by Trebor
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I watched this video on Facepage and was underwhelmed. Like Jake, I am not a fan of these types of shows. The audience, who is there mostly to scream with one another, naturally do not provide feedback appropriate to the performance. Furthermore, shows like this usually have a certain type of "pop" singer who looks a certain way, and even by those standards is usually not very good; at singing or looks-wise. This woman was shocking only in comparison to that norm.

So, even though the audience went crazy, her performance was not very good and would not have been anything special compared to a professional singer. (I do understand that this is not a professional venue.)

Nevertheless, I got the impression that she knew exactly what kind of venue that was, didn't expect much except the pleasure of singing in front of an excited audience, and enjoyed herself.

But that hair...

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You could have easily fit in with that audience...

No, I could not have. In fact my post was all about why I could never be part of that audience: in order to be able to experience the surprize and the rush of hearing her belt out a perfect tune, you would have to first be one of the audience members, anticipating failure.

That is why that clip has entertainment value. If the clip showed someone singing a perfect song (with the audience shutting up, so it was actually audible), and nothing else, you would've never posted it.

Is this what I missed?

I Dreamed a Dream

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Some of you people are completely missing the point here. Objectivity requires considering the context and applying appropriate (reasonable) standard of judgment. With this in mind - what this woman did was extraordinary, very brave, and deserving of praise.

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Some of you people are completely missing the point here. Objectivity requires considering the context and applying appropriate (reasonable) standard of judgment. With this in mind - what this woman did was extraordinary, very brave, and deserving of praise.

I haven't judged her, nor do I intend to on an open forum (I judged her voice: I said it's good), without a good reason, but her context is Britain (or a generic, relatively free society), which has a great appreciation for people with her innate talent (a great voice), and no appreciation for awful clothes and gray, out of style hair---so much for not judging, huh? :)

I'd love to know what context you have in mind, that would make her into an heroic figure. She's not exactly breaking out of Saudi Arabia.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I haven't judged her, nor do I intend to on an open forum (I judged her voice: I said it's good), without a good reason, but her context is Britain (or a generic, relatively free society), which has a great appreciation for people with her innate talent (a great voice), and no appreciation for awful clothes and gray, out of style hair---so much for not judging, huh? :)

I'd love to know what context you have in mind, that would make her into an heroic figure. She's not exactly breaking out of Saudi Arabia.

But the tigers come at night

With their voices soft as thunder

As they tear your hope apart

And they turn your dream to shame

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Someone who gets it!

"Susan Boyle: Why Dreams Matter" by Steven J. Patrick

From the article:

I think of the many possible reasons why Susan Boyle didn't follow her dream which, she said in the clip, she had been wishing for since she was twelve. In that crude-yet-charming way that Brits have of both accepting and heaping scorn upon their class system, she was probably told by her family or neighbors, "Oh, Susan, y'know singing...that's not for folks like us, is it? That's for posh people."

That's baseless speculation. Theere are any number of reasons why she may not have followed her dreams, many of them far more likely than an imaginary British class system.

I guess the reason why I didn't get it is because I wasn't aware of the British class system. Got it now.

P.S. I do understand that you're angry with me because I'm interfering with your efforts to present this video as a source of inspiration. But this isn't "Slumdog Millionaire", this is an actual person you know nothing about. Building up a fantasy around her isn't likely to hold up, and it most definitely doesn't qualify as "justice".

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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From the article:

That's baseless speculation. Theere are any number of reasons why she may not have followed her dreams, many of them far more likely than an imaginary British class system.

I guess the reason why I didn't get it is because I wasn't aware of the British class system. Got it now.

Okay, I'm gullible, in your view, having been an audience to, and greatly enjoyed, via YouTube, Miss Boyle's performance.

But shallowness is embarrassing.

Talent, like genius, is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration. That is why (the tigers) nipping it in the bud is so effective.

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I haven't judged her, nor do I intend to on an open forum (I judged her voice: I said it's good), without a good reason, but her context is Britain (or a generic, relatively free society), which has a great appreciation for people with her innate talent (a great voice), and no appreciation for awful clothes and gray, out of style hair---so much for not judging, huh? :)

I'd love to know what context you have in mind, that would make her into an heroic figure. She's not exactly breaking out of Saudi Arabia.

I did not say you should not be judging. I said that, in your judgment, you should be keeping the right context, in this case, of someone with no professional training and no previous stage experience.

There is no such thing as innate talent. Her level of skill requires dedication and focused work - an indication of a deep valuer.

This woman is quiet aware of her physical shortcomings (and low class profile) and age. She was bravely open and honest about her life - particularly about the complete lack of romantic experiences at 47 (she said she has never been kissed!). And yet she did not let all of this beat her down and her dream. She bravely took a chance, carried herself with genuine confidence and pride, and despite the openly negative initial reaction of the audience and judges, she was able to deliver this extraordinary performance in both the level of skill and charisma. What an inspiration! How great for her! and us!

There are all kinds of heroes in this world.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I don't watch these shows, but that's the second time I've seen a surprise performance from "Britain’s Got Talent", the other being Paul Potts. Why is it American Idol doesn't produce these kinds of surprises? Very curious.
Both of the British "surprisers" were over 30, and operatic singers. American Idol has an age limit of 28. Also, a talented operatic singer once tried out for the show, and Cowell said that while he was good, that wasn't the style they were looking for.
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P.S. I do understand that you're angry with me because I'm interfering with your efforts to present this video as a source of inspiration. But this isn't "Slumdog Millionaire", this is an actual person you know nothing about. Building up a fantasy around her isn't likely to hold up, and it most definitely doesn't qualify as "justice".

You confuse contempt with anger.

You have made your own opinions quite clear. Others do not share your views; perhaps they find the video a "source of inspiration." Why spend so much effort to shoot it down?

It's insulting to suggest that I'm building up a fantasy around Miss Boyle or her performance. I at least listened to and watched the entire performance. Her performance speaks for itself, as does the performance you (linked) recommended.

As for justice, you should acquaint yourself with its meaning.

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Sophia, I think you're romanticizing her story, by adding adversities she wasn't subjected to. She's a real person, so you shouldn't. There are plenty of people who are excellent sources of inspiration. Sure, they tend to end up rich, famous, or both, but that's perfectly natural.

I'll wait to see what this lady does from now on before I make up my mind about her character. (if it will ever come to that)

Why spend so much effort to shoot it down?......

....

It's insulting to suggest that I'm building up a fantasy ....

Why spend so much time having a conversation with someone who's final argument is "why spend so much time having a conversation with me?" and "disagreement is insulting" indeed.

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Why spend so much time having a conversation with someone who's final argument is "why spend so much time having a conversation with me?" and "disagreement is insulting" indeed.

Please! You're now putting words into my mouth.

There's an entry for "Honesty" in the Ayn Rand Lexicon as well.

Edited by Trebor
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