Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Susan Boyle sings on "Britain's Got Talent"

Rate this topic


Trebor
 Share

Recommended Posts

Let's not. Let's try and keep both of us at least mildly amused instead, by working on this picture you so skillfully and I'm sure purposefully painted:

Why would my mean words have a metallic sparkle, as they lay there on the floor? Why would they lay on the floor to begin with?

It is obvious that you are a person of very limited mind. Do you open Atlas Shrugged and wonder why the sun is a bleeding wound?

The twilight was draining the sky without the wound of a sunset

It is clear that you are being obtuse and supercilious in order to mask your embarrassment.

So no. lets.

I've got enough of them in my opera documents folder. Time for a lark:

First, Antony Tommassini, regular reviewer of Metropolitan Opera productions, back at the start of the trend in 2002:

Should the Fat Lady Diet Before She Sings?

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI

THE dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt returns to the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday as Elisabeth in Wagner's "Tannhäuser," and opera buffs are abuzz with anticipation over this popular American artist's first foray into the role at the house.

Yet besides wondering how she will sound, many in the audience will no doubt be curious to see how she looks. Ms. Voigt, a large woman, has been dieting, exercising and losing weight. The physical appearance of opera singers became a hot topic last summer, when word came that Ms. Voigt had been forced out of a production of Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos" at the Royal Opera House in London. Ariadne is her signature role. But the director of the company's trendy production thought she was too heavy to look right in a black cocktail dress that he deemed crucial to his concept.

Though countless Voigt fans were distressed by this insult to her artistry, the story did stir debate about nagging questions in the field: vocal endowment is obviously the most important factor in casting a role, but is it everything? Shouldn't the element of drama in opera demand that singers look reasonably like the characters they portray? And what about the new generation? Do younger singers who have grown up in a visually oriented age believe that looking good are prerequisites for a career?

That last question lingered with me. So I posed it to four singers I greatly admire, all in their 30's: three Americans - the baritone Nathan Gunn, the soprano Christine Goerke and the tenor Anthony Dean Griffey - and the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. Though each is an excellent vocalist and a compelling actor, they are of quite different body types.

Mr. Gunn, an intelligent and elegant singer, is so strapping, handsome and hunky that stage directors search for reasons to get whatever character he is playing to go bare-chested, as in his acclaimed recent portrayal of the title character in Britten's "Billy Budd" at the San Francisco Opera.

Ms. Goerke, who has a radiant and richly textured voice, is six feet tall and, she joked recently, is "built like a linebacker." Onstage, though, she can be a riveting actress, with Junoesque charisma. She had a milestone success last season as Donna Elvira in the Met's new production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni."

Ms. Netrebko, who sings the coloratura and lyric soprano repertory with sumptuous sound and impressive agility, is a dark-haired, fair-skinned, slender beauty.

Mr. Griffey, at 6-foot-4, has always had a husky build, which, he said in a recent interview, has curtailed his opportunities in opera. But over the last two years, he has steadily shed weight: some 90 pounds, down to 260 or less. He looked great and radiated confidence during a rewarding recital program last month at Zankel Hall. But even when he was much heavier, Mr. Griffey had stage presence. If there were an Academy Award for opera, Mr. Griffey would have won it for his performance as the feeble-minded Lennie in the New York City Opera's production of Carlisle Floyd's "Of Mice and Men" in 1998.

Still, how much should these fine artists be compelled to think about their appearance? "I see both sides of the issue," Ms. Goerke said recently. "I really do. Anna Netrebko and Nathan Gunn are like Barbie and Ken, two of the most beautiful people imaginable, singing aside. But they are the exception. I'm sort of the person you know who walks down the street. I'm the woman next door who has been struggling with her weight her whole life. Opera has real people." Add the element of exciting singing, and no genre of theater makes the suspension of disbelief easier for the audience, Ms. Goerke said. Yet directors often don't see it that way, she added, and the pressures are especially hard on women. After Ms. Voigt's rejection from the London "Ariadne," Ms. Goerke dared to wear a T-shirt to rehearsals at the Met emblazoned with a bitter new twist on the old saying about the fat lady: "The opera isn't over till the black dress sings."

In earlier eras, sizable sopranos like Birgit Nilsson, Régine Crespin and Renata Tebaldi could look lovely onstage because they were striking women with full-figured, hourglass physiques. When Ms. Goerke considers costume ideas, she looks to the film actresses of older times, when sex goddesses were fleshy women like Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, as Ms. Goerke said, very thin is very in.

"We are not quite back to Twiggy," she added, "but we're on our way."

The challenge is to rid yourself of insecurity about your body when you perform, Ms. Goerke said. "It's easier for me to do that onstage than in real life," she noted. "That's a big attraction of opera. It's easier than therapy."

Though Ms. Goerke said she had never been told directly that she was not getting a part because of her body type, she suspected that this was the reason behind several rejections. Mr. Gunn, on the other hand, must be careful not to let directors talk him into singing a vocally inappropriate role because of how he would look in it. Though he has a robust voice, Mr. Gunn is essentially a lyric singer, not one of "those tree-trunk Verdi baritones," as he calls them.

Smart directors have effectively used his appearance and physical agility, developed since the age of 4, when he started doing martial arts; tennis, football and wrestling followed in high school. Few directors have pushed him harder, and with better results, than Francesca Zambello for a 1997 production of Gluck's nobly tragic opera "Iphigénie en Tauride" at the Glimmerglass Opera.

The story centers on the relationship between two Greek kings, Orestes and Pylades, after the Trojan War. They have been captured by King Thoas of Taurus. Ms. Zambello's production, which later went to the New York City Opera, made it clear that these young men were friends and probably lovers. Mr. Gunn, who played Orestes, and the fine tenor William Burden, another handsome artist, who sang Pylades, spent much of the performance chained together, all grimy and sweaty, clutching each other with affection and despair, and wearing little but loincloths.

Ms. Goerke sang Iphigenia, the sister of Orestes, who had believed him dead. In the opening scene at a Temple of Diana in Taurus, Ms. Goerke, in a dress of brownish sackcloth, sang Iphigénia's anguished music while being doused by water from a storm. In the scenes between brother and sister, she utterly held her own onstage.

"There were these two beautiful, muscle-bound men in loincloths, and I'm in this shmatte," she said.

Mr. Gunn has enormous respect for Ms. Goerke. "Just as people mistake licentiousness for freedom, they mistake glamour for beauty," he said. "Christine is a beautiful woman, as is Debbie Voigt. It's not little bits and pieces of a person that make them beautiful, but the sum of things that come together. And in opera, singing is No. 1."

Still, the pressure to look attractive is now a part of the field. Singers of his generation routinely see themselves on television and videos. And how do opera company managers get people into the theaters? "By catching their eyes," Mr. Gunn said.

Ms. Netrebko certainly caught the eyes of Met audiences when she made her debut as Natasha in Prokofiev's "War and Peace" in 2002. Ms. Netrebko was outraged when she heard of Ms. Voigt's travails at Covent Garden, she said from her apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"It is absolutely not allowed to fire a singer like Deborah Voigt, who is a one-in-a-million voice, just amazing," she said. "If they start to fire a singer like that, then maybe opera is dying."

Ms. Netrebko said that opera companies and audiences must understand the special brand of oversize drama the genre involves. Opera is "not about the close-up and will never look as good on television as in the opera house," she said.

Mr. Griffey has been just that kind of oversize stage presence. He brought a hulking swagger, like the film actor Broderick Crawford's, to his portrayal of Britten's Peter Grimes at the Met in 1998, and a baby-faced vulnerability, like Lou Costello's, to the title role of Robert Kurka's bleakly comic "Good Soldier Schweik" at Glimmerglass in 2003.

Growing up in a furniture factory town in North Carolina, the older son of an illiterate, abusive and alcoholic father who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, Mr. Griffey sought solace in music and in community theater productions. Already tall and stout as a child, he found it comforting to portray someone else. In life he faced hurtful ridicule. "But I realized I'd be embraced onstage," he said, "because I can act and sing well."

Despite his success and a gratifying concert career, he yearns to do more opera, but he has faced what he considers prejudice. Mr. Griffey was willing to specify one disappointment.

In 2002 he enjoyed a triumph as Lennie in "Of Mice and Men" at the Houston Grand Opera, receiving standing ovations every night. (A live recording was recently released by Albany Records.) Shortly afterward, Mr. Griffey asked the company to consider him for the title role in a production of Mozart's "Idomeneo," which was then being cast. He had sung the role splendidly in a concert performance at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. But the Houston Grand Opera hired Torsten Kerl, a handsome German tenor with a thick mane of light hair.

Asked about the choice, David Gockley, the general director of the Houston Grand Opera, issued a statement, noting that casting decisions are "driven by several factors: voice, musicianship, appearance, etc." Sometimes even height comes into the picture, the statement added. Mr. Kerl, who has had an active career in Europe, at the Vienna State Opera and elsewhere, would seem a legitimate choice for the "Idomeneo'' production, which opens on Jan. 28.

Still, nothing in the libretto to "Idomeneo" indicates what the title character, the wizened King of Crete, should look like. Surely, a good Idomeneo must convey authority and dignity, and pull off mood swings between defiance and despair. But need he be strapping and sexy?

Mr. Griffey, who is impressively nimble on his feet, said that opera directors should put more emphasis on acting and movement and less on physical appearance. "Put me up against any tenor, and I promise you I will dance as well if not better, be as graceful if not better and sing as well if not better," he added. "People don't understand that we are in danger of losing this wonderful thing about opera: the beautiful reality of the singers."

Second, a letter from an opera singer concerning the article:

As an opera singer in my 20's, I read Mr. Tommasini's article with great interest. However, I don't think he went far enough in exploring the extent to which casting professionals will sacrifice artistry for appearance.Mr. Tommasini wrote that ''vocal endowment is obviously the most important factor in casting a role,'' and he took great pains to reassure us that the physically attractive performers he profiled were also top-flight singers. He gave the impression that looks simply serve to give an already-accomplished vocal artist an edge.

But there is ample evidence -- from Baz Luhrman's recent Broadway ''Bohème,' to this season's sexed-up ''Platée'' at New York City Opera, to the Deborah Voigt-Royal Opera House incident that Mr. Tommasini detailed -- to support the notion that opera companies place a higher premium on ''stage presence'' than vocal beauty in many situations. This philosophy contributes to a very disturbing trend: young, attractive but inexperienced performers being cast in roles that are vocally inappropriate, and perhaps even perilous to them.

Jake Alrich

Astoria, Queen

Finally (for now), The Independent in England, last year:

Too big for La Bohème: svelte singers are the new shape of opera

September, 2008

Traditionally, it isn't over until the fat lady sings. But it seems it will soon be over for the singing fat lady. The stereotypical large woman in a horned helmet and braids belting out Wagner is preparing for her swansong as opera embraces a new, younger audience.

The drive to reach out to these fans is resulting in slimmer, fitter and more glamorous singers on stage. New York's prestigious Metropolitan Opera is in the vanguard of this movement, according to John Allison, editor of Opera magazine. "I have noticed the slimming down of performers," he says, "and I think this is largely driven by the Met, which feels that audiences are more likely to connect with a glamorous, thin singer."

Elaine Padmore, director of opera at London's Royal Opera House (ROH), has also seen a move away from large women to more petite performers in certain roles. "We have been seeing glamorous women and handsome leading men for a time now, but this is the entertainment world, after all," she says. "It is expected these days, when people are used to seeing beautiful people in films and on the television."

Ms Padmore says the trend away from the static style of opera acting to a more dynamic, physical one in which singers move more athletically around the stage is also behind the change.

While it would have been acceptable to audiences in the 1980s to watch a three-hour production of La Bohème with Pavarotti in which the famous tenor would not move at all, those days are now gone. The new crop of performers require a higher level of fitness than before as they dart about the stage.

However, Ms Padmore adds: "Audiences still expect wonderful voices and I don't think they just go to see beautiful people – but it's a bonus if the singer looks like the character."

She insists it is too early to write off the statuesque stereotype; some Wagnerian roles, for example, still demand a "bigger physique". Nevertheless, Marina Poplavskaya and Emma Reed, stars of the ROH's current production of Don Giovanni, are the prima divas among a new crop of svelte performers. Others typifying this new breed include Anna Netrebko and her partner Erwin Schrott, Jonas Kaufmann and Danielle de Niese.

The writing has been on the wall for oversized singers for some time. In 2004, the American soprano Deborah Voight was told that unless she lost weight she was unsuitable for a role in the ROH's production of Ariadne on Naxos. Ms Voight is back in the same ROH production this year, having shed nine stone. "I was not appropriate for the [2004] production," she admitted.

The new formula seems to be working, doing for opera what Vanessa Mae, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Ofra Harnoy have done to boost the profile of classical music. Divas such as Poplavskaya are revitalising ticket sales at the ROH, which has seen audiences surge by more than 10 per cent in the past year. In the financial year to March 2008, the ROH had almost 700,000 people though its doors, some paying up to £210 a ticket, compared with a little over 610,000 the year before. Of these, 26 per cent were between 18 and 35 and earned less than £30,000 a year, evidence that the art form is slowly shedding its elitist mantle.

Some hope the trend towards skinny opera does not go so far as "size zero" singers. "I hope we don't see that," says Mr Allison. "I hope we don't see the end of the phrase 'before the fat lady sings' either, because there are some pieces that require singers to have a huge set of lungs and a big frame to go with it. If glamour and looks are hired before vocal ability, then you are heading for trouble."

Your cards, sir?

Edited by kainscalia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 87
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

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

I think Jake's argument here was reasonable. I think what stood out was the way she dealt with the particular atmosphere she was entering. That's what made this fun to watch. Her singing was very good, but probably would not stand out among a group of the best singers.

The theme here is "Someone who didn't look the part sang brilliantly well", which is a bit odd when you realize that a beautiful voice is not dependent upon having a beautiful face.

Edited by Thales
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is obvious that you are a person of very limited mind. Do you open Atlas Shrugged and wonder why the sun is a bleeding wound?

It is clear that you are being obtuse and supercilious in order to mask your embarrassment.

So no. lets.

I've got enough of them in my opera documents folder. Time for a lark:

First, Antony Tommassini, regular reviewer of Metropolitan Opera productions, back at the start of the trend in 2002:

Second, a letter from an opera singer concerning the article:

Finally (for now), The Independent in England, last year:

Your cards, sir?

I think you're a pompous douche, who's only means of addressing disagreement is through insults.

As for the articles, they sound like the reaction of any members of a subculture, in the face of cultural appropriation. If you want to cling to this childish rationalization that obese individuals have a stranglehold on "proper" singing, because of their supposed large lungs, you can. No one is stopping you from only listening to fat singers.

Do you open Atlas Shrugged and wonder why the sun is a bleeding wound?

Yes, but that question has an answer. Your metaphor was pointless and plain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're a pompous douche, who's only means of addressing disagreement is through insults.

I see, but when you do it, it's you simply calling someone "an emotional wreck." Nice double standard there.

As for the articles, they sound like the reaction of any members of a subculture, in the face of cultural appropriation. If you want to cling to this childish rationalization that obese individuals have a stranglehold on "proper" singing, because of their supposed large lungs, you can. No one is stopping you from only listening to fat singers.

Are you actually capable of understanding what someone writes? Or do you selectively make a pastiche of what you choose to ignore?

Earlier in my reply I made a reference to Alfredo Kraus, whom I recall calling The King Of Tenors. Since, for all your posturing, you are obviously someone who wouldn't know anything about opera if he found it eating his soup, I'll show you a picture of Maestro Kraus:

2706061.JPG

As you can see, he is not obese. In fact, as someone who is studying with a Soprano who made her debut in the Met and continued to have a successful international career, I know that adiposity has nothing to do with the size of the voice: the length of the vocal cords, the shape of the head and the size of the thoracic cage are the elements involved in the quality, type, fach, size and all other characteristics of the voice.

My argument, since you are obviously too addle-brained to actually understand what I am saying, is that modern houses are rejecting top-notch voices, singing actors and musical interpreters because of non-essential features that are not related to the work at hand. You do understand the concept of what is essential to something, right? In modeling, which is, at its core, a job displaying the physical characteristics of a person, looks are everything. In Opera, which requires the most refined technique and musicianship possible, singing over towering orchestras in houses that are most of the time not adequate, it also requires deep scholastic knowledge of stylistic elements of the work performed (Is it Mozart? It requires a different style of singing than the Verismo school, or Puccini's Romanticism. Baroque? Completely different ball field), and to boot the singer must be able to act with his voice in a way that brings the text to life. Stage action is secondary to this, because in opera Music Is Queen. Otherwise just make it regular theater. Voice and musicianship, therefore, are essential to opera, whereas looks are secondary. Unfortunately opera has been hijacked by musical theater directors and movie directors (now Roman Polansky is fashioning himself as an opera stage director) who usually understand very little about the musical demands of the genre and instead want to sacrifice essentials so the production fits 'his vision'-- composer and librettist be damned!

Voigt's dismissal from the Ariadne was an example of this (Ariadne Auf Naxos in a COCKTAIL PARTY? Ariadne is a princess who gets stranded by Jason in an island and is rescued by Bacchus, there is no cocktail party anywhere in the libretto)-- prior to the slim-down, there were few voices grander and more glorious than Deborah Voigt. Unfortunately her size made her less of an ideal match for these Theater Wunderkinder. In order to save her career, Voigt proceeded to have a gastric bypass. Indeed, she slimmed down very quickly.

So, what happened to Voigt?

Those of you who listen to opera (and I assume that's not you, Elliot) will have heard what happened to Voigt during the Rosenkavalier trio at the Metropolitan Opera's 125th anniversary gala. Halfway through the trio her voice, once capable of creating beautiful, floated high tessitura, exploded into a bloodcurling screech. The rest of the night was no better for her, and her voice showed dangerous instability.

So, what happened to Voigt?

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the gastric bypass, apparently, left Voigt with decreased mobility in her abdominal muscles. Now, anyone who knows anything about singing will understand the implications of this and how it affects what singers call apoggio. Without it, singing anything above the staff (or even in middle voice) is a lost cause. Voigt's career is drawing to a close. She's just one of the many cases out there, but she gets the publicity because she had already achieved super-stardom by the time the new 'trend' caught up with her.

I sang the role of Danilo Danilovitsch in Die Lustige Witwe with a beautiful dramatic soprano who was quite rotund. Dramatic sopranos usually don't sing operetta because their voices are too big and are not agile enough for the repertoire. However, Nichole was a wonderful exception: her voice was beautiful (rare in a dramatic), and incredibly agile (extremely rare in a dramatic). She had an enormous vocal canvas to work on, and throughout the entire performance she used her voice to great effect-- pulling back to pianissimi only to eventually swell into fortes at appropriately dramatic moments, and it could knock your teeth out (every time I sang close to her while embraced, I felt the upper harmonics of her voice drilling through my skull) because the bloom in the voice was simply beautiful, very reminiscent of Brigit Nilsson. She was also an incredibly talented actress, with a beautiful and expressive face that had the audience eating out of her hand, her charms perfectly feminine as the rich widow Sonia. By the time the second act began and the Vilja song started, the audience was on the edge of their seats. Performances like these are not common in operetta, which is usually the lighter fare.

Unfortunately Nichole gets very few roles. Despite being one of the most promising vocalists under 28 today (and a true dramatic soprano, a very rare commodity), she wouldn't look good naked (and many of these stage directors nowadays are looking for excuses to put pointless sex and debauchery in modernized opera settings. Don't believe me?

) and she can't fit into a skintight leotard, cocktail dress, or similar ridiculous knick-knacks.

I was lucky enough to sing with Tina, an incredibly talented African-American soprano from New Orleans, who was invited to a concert gala. Like Nichole, she too was a dramatic soprano, but her voice was pure honey: large but beautiful, and incredibly warm. Although she was obviously a dramatic, she could perform Mozart's more substantial roles with aplomb. She reminded everyone of a young Jessye Norman, and when I heard her sing "O Don Fatale!" from Don Carlo and "Dove Sono" from Mozart's Le Nozze at the same concert, I simply couldn't believe my ears. Yet I was in the house, after having auditioned for "Le Nozze Di Figaro", when she auditioned for the role of the Countess. Her voice was perfectly suited for it-- but what I didn't expect was what they said to her after she finished the audition, when another soprano had been cast who was very much a vocal inferior (and a stylistic nightmare). She confronted the artistic director, and his reply was "You have a glorious voice, it is very beautiful. But we can't cast you- you're so fat, I don't know what I would do with you onstage!" She walked away, very dignified, but when I caught up with her she had broken down to tears.

These two ladies have outstanding talent but have limited engagements for reasons that are non-essential to the very careers they have mastered. Try to put your addled brain through this, Elliot: trying to aim for supermodel opera singers is like expecting that every single member in a symphony orchestra be drop-dead gorgeous, or expect Naomi Campbell to be capable of pulling a masterful performance of Poulenc's one-woman opera "La Voix Humaine". Or to base Atlas Shrugged's merits on whether Ayn Rand could become a pin-up girl or not.

For these people to be discarded from consideration for reasons that are completely irrelevant is simply ridiculous, and it is a clear sign of the anti-intellectual mentality prevalent in the artistic trends of today, where image is more important than substance.

As an operagoer, I don't care if my tenor or soprano is chuky, obese, muscular or thin. I do, however, expect them to be able to sing well (none of the slim 'hot' singers nowadays do, with the exception of Netrebko who is not stellar, and Juan Diego Florez who IS), be superb musicians capable of creating art and act with their voices (Netrebko can in the right repertoire, which she seldom chooses, opting instead for Bel Canto when she should focus more on the Russian and German composers more suited for her voice. Florez can about 99% of the time). How they look is completely secondary.

As an opera singer, I expect to be judged at an audition by my vocal projection, enunciation, musicality and acting abilities, not by whether the stage director can see my pectorals through my shirt. That's not what opera is about, and no matter how much they try to make it so, the fact that there is a 120+ orchestra waiting to play and that the stage is not a catwalk are parts of reality that they, nor you, can ever change.

And, incidentally, neither should Susan Boyle be held under those standards, but rather by musical ones- as one would judge a promising amateur voice that is seeking professional occupation.

Yes, but that question has an answer. Your metaphor was pointless and plain.

No, you simply chose to ignore that vitriol poured forth from your mouth, and thus I alluded to the fact that the floor was covered with it. I cannot account for you being a simpleton.

Finally, Elliot? No. I'm not a pompous douche. You're an ignorant rube.

Next time try to know a little bit about a subject before you challenge someone who lives it.

Edited by kainscalia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still, I don't see why you're here. It's like going to a concert for a band you don't like just to make fun of the fans and talk about how bad the band is.

It's not like that. It's like being honest if someone brings up that band the next day, and says something I disagree with about them.

Too often in the modern media, people who aren't the best in their fields get more recognition than anyone else, because of reasons that are completely unrelated. There are sports stars who are media savvy or good looking, but nowhere near the best (Anna Kournikova, David Beckam), comedians who stand out because they're obese, Muslim, disabled or pretend Mexican, but in fact are using jokes written by their betters, to win contests on TV (I believe the subject was brilliantly covered in last week's South Park episode), unknown Presidential candidates sweeping the nation because they're black and yet (miraculously, apparently) well spoken, etc.

Someone posted a video, asking people to opine on it. So I did: the singing was good but I've seen better, and the circus around it was despicable. What prompted me to say that? It was my sense of justice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone posted a video, asking people to opine on it. So I did: the singing was good but I've seen better, and the circus around it was despicable. What prompted me to say that? It was my sense of justice.

Hardly. The video you linked was no better a performance. I don't know who the young lady trying to sing the song is (as I am not a fan of musical theater outside of the R&H/L&L music) but she suffered from terrible technique. Her vowels were terribly spread and every time she ascended she was struck with voce ingolata and her vibrato was extremely forced (in musical theater, vibrato is approached by first singing the note as straight-tone, and then relaxing the larynx in order to let the natural function of vibrato to occur) robbing the voice of beauty (voce mortificata). Joanne Gleason- when she had an upper register - would have wiped the floor with this pretender you brought up. Applying your 'sense of justice', this woman has faults that must be forgiven in amateurs and those who are beginning, but unforgivable in professionals. So I am going to say no, I doubt you've seen better. I don't think you'd be able to identify it.

A note: How come 'scintillating' is pompous, but 'opine', which is classified as a formal (Collins Essential English Dictionary) use of language, is not?

Edited by kainscalia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately opera has been hijacked

It is called cultural appropriation. Your natural response ought to be to join something more obscure, to make sure no one cares enough to dare affect it.

Roman Polanski hijacked opera the same way Hollywood directors hijacked comic books, in both cases to the dismay of the geeks who's whole world got turned upside down.

A note: How come 'scintillating' is pompous, but 'opine', which is classified as a formal (Collins Essential English Dictionary) use of language, is not?

Neither are pompous. You are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you actually address the point of the issue, or are you just tap dancing around the drainpipe to avoid falling in?

It is called cultural appropriation. Your natural response ought to be to join something more obscure, to make sure no one cares enough to dare affect it.

Roman Polanski hijacked opera the same way Hollywood directors hijacked comic books, in both cases to the dismay of the geeks who's whole world got turned upside down.

Neither are pompous. You are.

To quote you earlier: I don't use as big a words as your "scintillating"

You implied they were, but suddenly they are not?

Geez, man, can you be consistent for even one minute, or must you dwell in double standards in everything so as to try to save face?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hardly. The video you linked was no better a performance. The video you linked was no better a performance. I don't know who the young lady trying to sing the song is (as I am not a fan of musical theater outside of the R&H/L&L music) but she suffered from terrible technique. Her vowels were terribly spread and every time she ascended she was struck with voce ingolata and her vibrato was extremely forced (in musical theater, vibrato is approached by first singing the note as straight-tone, and then relaxing the larynx in order to let the natural function of vibrato to occur) robbing the voice of beauty (voce mortificata).

I think my version is a more beautiful performance. I can't prove it though.

I can dismiss your arbitrary standards, those are in no way suited for judging art, but I can't provide an objective way to measure which is better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have so little emotion about this woman and this video. Nothing about her personality or looks made me think she'd be bad at singing, and the audience's preconception of her seemed rather silly to me.
Interesting; that was my reaction as well. Which is why, as I watched, I found myself more drawn in to judge the audience than to listen to her carefully. it was like watching the participants of some sociology experiment: "will they turn up the voltage?" At the first watching, it was clear that her singing was way, way above the expectations that had been edited in; but I found myself judging those expectations rather than listening to see whether she was just a great church-choir singer, or something more. I assume the clip was edited to underscore the "don't judge a book by its cover" theme, and it worked. Good theatre.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The value in the clip, as Jack and SN illustrated, wasn't how good she was (she was definitely pleasant to listen to, but not on the level of professionals - context, however, dictates polite applause for what skill she has cultivated and I hope she gets more formal training and practice, because she seems to have potential.) It was the upsetting of unjust expectations on the part of the audience and judges.

Justice is a very powerful motivator in a proper, moral, person, and to see someone judge a person on some topic (say, singing ability) by some completely unrelated criteria (say, physical appearance) is an extremely unjust way of going about things. Frankly it is disgusting. To see that unjust mode of operation exposed for the fraud that it is, is what has caused (in myself at least) such strong positive emotions.

The performance, justly listened to and critiqued (by both judges and audience,) would not (I think) cause most of the people here to respond in such a positive manner (though I would like to emphasize that she is pleasant to listen to, the performance was not phenominal.) It is just that the immoral standards of the Simon, the judges and the audience were exposed, and that is an intensely pleasant example of the truth and practicality of the virtue of justice.

Edit: It is further pleasing that both the judges and what elements in the audience seemed to be "against" the contestant, for lack of a better word, recognized that their criteria was unjust and reversed their opinions immediately. Though psychological analysis of strangers is always suspect, I would venture a guess that it was the reason the applause came so quick to start and burst out so often in the song.

Edited by sanjavalen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edit: It is further pleasing that both the judges and ... audience ...recognized that their criteria was unjust and reversed their opinions immediately.
Indeed, this switch is a lesson for anyone designing sociological experiments and questionnaires. Even if the experiment shows the subjects (in this case, members of the audience) have a certain prejudice, it is useful to design the experiment to see how much it really matters. If the experimenter had stopped by (say) tabulating only the pre-listening reaction, he'd have come away shaking his head.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed, this switch is a lesson for anyone designing sociological experiments and questionnaires. Even if the experiment shows the subjects (in this case, members of the audience) have a certain prejudice, it is useful to design the experiment to see how much it really matters. If the experimenter had stopped by (say) tabulating only the pre-listening reaction, he'd have come away shaking his head.

I don't think this was fundamentally different from the Paul Potts performance, although I think Susan Boyle is getting even more publicity. Does that mean that the judges and audience have learned nothing? Hmmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have anything new to add, but please interpret the above information (if you wish).
Making her look good would spoil the brand that they want to build. She is the "unlikely person who surprised you". If she starts to look the part, that brand is dead.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle won't get makeover says Amanda Holden (one of the judges)

I don't have anything new to add, but please interpret the above information (if you wish).

And I'd suggest that it's an opportunity to read, or reread, Miss Rand's "Marilyn Monroe: Through Your Most Grievous Fault": http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3247

"Someone posted a video, asking people to opine on it. So I did: the singing was good but I've seen better, and the circus around it was despicable. What prompted me to say that? It was my sense of justice."

I posted a link to a video of a remarkable, indeed wonderful and profound, performance given in a specific context. I posted it as a value for others to perhaps, hopefully, enjoy, not for them to denigrate. I did not ask for people to "opine" on it; but I did not expect them not to do so.

To kainscalia, you rose to the moral and intellectual heights of stating hypocritically, "I think you're a pompous douche, who's only means of addressing disagreement is through insults."

I think that you share Elsworth Toohey's "sense of justice."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So technique is an 'arbitrary standard'?

Alright, I'm done with you. It's obvious that I am dealing here with someone who, like it or not, DOES belong in the audience of "Britain's Got Talent", despite how much he may decry them... because he obviously has no standards outside of his own gut reactions.

Enjoy the show, balordo. You haven't had anything to add since the beginning.

I can dismiss your arbitrary standards, those are in no way suited for judging art, but I can't provide an objective way to measure which is better.
Edited by kainscalia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To kainscalia, you rose to the moral and intellectual heights of stating hypocritically, "I think you're a pompous douche, who's only means of addressing disagreement is through insults."

I think that it was Jake who stated that, not kainscalia, according to post #53.

Edited by intellectualammo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just noticed this comment, by "alann," posted on THE FORUM

"BTW, a 1999 audio recording she made for charity has been dug up and here it is. She has a very straighforward singerly approach to the material, no distortion of her technique for effect, but what terrific phrasing and style. In a sense, she's a throwback to the songbirds of the late Golden Age. Luisa Tettrazini was short and over 300 pounds at the height of her career, but, thanks to a brilliant voice and technique, she sold out every house in which she appeared."

"Cry Me a River"

I think it's speaks for itself, and Susan's talent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that it was Jake who stated that, not kainscalia, according to post #53.

I think there is some confusion over phrase placement. Read it like so: "You rose to the moral and intellectual heights of stating hypocritically, to Kainscalia, 'I think...'"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there is some confusion over phrase placement. Read it like so: "You rose to the moral and intellectual heights of stating hypocritically, to Kainscalia, 'I think...'"

That's correct.

Sorry for the confusion.

Edited by Trebor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle won't get makeover says Amanda Holden (one of the judges)

I don't have anything new to add, but please interpret the above information (if you wish).

One of the judges: “She needs to stay exactly as she is because that’s the reason we love her."

No.. no it is not. We love her because of her singing (* and here is another sampling of it - different song from 1999) and her sense of life. Her appearance just got her more publicity and made for good television.

This is disgusting. A well done makeover is exactly what she should get (it does not have to be anything invasive and yet the improvement in her appearance can be drastic). It would improve her life on many levels. This is like keeping a crippled person crippled for the sake of putting on a good show.

Note: * I did not notice that Trebor above already posted the link to this song.

Edited by ~Sophia~
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The performance, justly listened to and critiqued (by both judges and audience,) would not (I think) cause most of the people here to respond in such a positive manner (though I would like to emphasize that she is pleasant to listen to, the performance was not phenominal.) It is just that the immoral standards of the Simon, the judges and the audience were exposed, and that is an intensely pleasant example of the truth and practicality of the virtue of justice.

That is not true in my case.

I also think that her singing is very very good (and she can get even better with some professional lessons). Better than the singing ability of many current "stars". (She is not aiming for opera...)

I would have loved to have a nice dinner at some place with her singing live in the background. What a lovely experience would that have been!

Personally, although I have the soul, if you will, for that kind of performance (I have had dreams in the past of doing exactly that) - I don't have the ability. It makes me appreciate those who can that much more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the judges: “She needs to stay exactly as she is because that’s the reason we love her."

...

This is disgusting. A well done makeover is exactly what she should get (it does not have to be anything invasive and yet the improvement in her appearance can be drastic). It would improve her life on many levels. This is like keeping a crippled person crippled for the sake of putting on a good show.

I agree with Sophia's comments.

That article, which Mr. Ellison mentioned, reflects very poorly on Amanda Holden, and the culture, but says nothing about Miss Boyle's own character. In fact, after watching her own appearance on Britain's Got Talent, Miss Boyle said that she did not like the way that she looked, that she looked fat and like a garage. That doesn't speak to someone who wants to stay exactly as she is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...