Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


Recommended Posts

I have just joined an opera list and have been having a wonderful time reading through the archives, slowly but surely. Yesterday, I came across an email about a "debate" between Russell Watson and Juan Diego Florez in which the question "What is an opera singer?" was raised. As I wrote to the AliceP when asking permission to quote it here, it hit 1000 nerves; just substitute "ballet" and "classical dancing" for "opera" and "operatic singng":

"They also speak about "Crossover" being a label in itself these days, but I cannot get to terms with that, because logic dictates that you can only do Crossover if you actually cross over from one gene to another. Watson, Church, Jenkins, Westenra and their esteemed collegues, cannot (in my humble opinion be called crossover artists, as they have not crossed over from anything. Then what are they? I kinda like the term "popera", which is "pop with an operatic slant or opera with a pop slant to the singing". That seems to fit perfectly in my book. Not saying they do not have a place in the music scene, because they do - but that so called critics call them opera singers or opera stars just goes to show what a poor state/knowledge todays critics are/have. If they do not know the difference how can they possibly review opera in a creditable way?

There is so much talk about opera being in a crises. I don't think so. I think the problem lies in the way the public is taught/fed what is operatic singing and what is not. I have many friends who have come to opera via the popera gene singers/groups and many of them have become true opera fans, but some have left the opera house at first opportunity saying that if this is opera, then this is not for them. And that is fair enough but have they been mislead by being told that Watson, Church etc are opera singers and this is what they could expect to hear in an opera house?? Is the public being mislead by journalists who either simply do not care or do not know the difference?

Just asking as I am getting throughly fed up with any "Tom, Dick or Harry" being labelled "Opera Star" by journalist/critics who really should know better/have a better understanding of music defintions, if they are to make a living reviewing music."

---Many thanks to AliceP for permission to quote her email.---

Not only does this address the issues with the practitioners, but also the issues with critics who should have a firm grounding in their fields before informing the public about the arts.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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