Friday, January 15, 2010

Popstar to Opera star

Well, how could I not? I've sung chorus bits in three opera now (yes, three!), which makes me as qualified Titchmarsh.

Yep, Alan Titchmarsh is co-hosting this ITV1 venture into high culture with Myleene Klass, popera poppet Katherine Jenkins, a tenor with curly hair called Rollando, Meatloaf Llewellyn Bowen, who gets into the judging panel because he's a bit Welsh and...umm flamboyant.

First up is Jimmy "one take" Osmond. He gets "O Sole Mio" (Just One Cornetto, peasants), and does quite a nice job. I've nearly forgiven him for Long Haired Lover from Liverpool....

We missed no. 2 because the Ocado order came in, but Kym Marsh's Faure was pretty good (was it Faure? Not sure). The audience are very encouraging and lovely. This is difficult stuff, after all. Kym and Myleene manage to be fairly civil, though Kym never ever looks Myleene in the eye.

Alex James is our John Sargent: flat, weird and floppy haired. A cheesemaking ex-Blur bassplayer who says: "There are punchers and strokers. I'm a puncher". He punches his way flatly through a famous bit of Rossini with more chutzpah than Harry Redknapp's accountant and charms the socks off the judges. Meatloaf pronounces it best opera performance by a rock bass player this evening. Errm. OK

Now, three years ago, I was stuck in a tent in Hyde Park with Marcella Detroit warbling at me for . Then I had to walk around London in my bra in the middle of the night. For Charity. I raised £500 but still Marcella Detroit has a lot to answer for. She weeps and strops her way through rehearsals, while the rest of the world admires her severe bob. Her performance is...OK. Good pitching, but no control over her voice, and very little emotion, but pretty good for only a week's intensive training. The judges love her. I'm not so sure. But then I am biased.

The McFly is the rather useful guitar boy, Danny, singing La Donna e Mobile. Not very well. He's nervous, and his voice is a bit weak, but he does the long notes rather well so maybe it's a confidence issue. Meatloaf jumps out and waves his hands around theatrically.

Next up is a Saturday called Vanessa who has a rather sweet voice, but is breathy and a bit static in the dyamic dept.

Darius has to sing "Nessun Dorma", but he's got a nice baritone voice. Bit thin, but he's very sweet and he has good focus. Meatloaf waves his arms around and says "dude" a lot.

Last up is Bernie Nolan, who spent most of the 70s in Spandex being in the mood for dancing. She sings the famous one from Tales of Hoffman, and does OK. She hits the notes, and actually gets some emotion in, and stays in time (most of the time).

Wish they'd all stop doing operatic gestures, like waving arms around during the big note.

The Big Vote is tomorrow, but I'm not sure if this show will last that long. I mean, they've done lots of the Big Arias this week. How many weeks before we hit the Harrison Birtwhistle? Do you really want to hear Darius sing Peter Grimes?

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