Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Making it worse? How could it be worse? - Popstar to Opera Star, tweet by tweet, Part II

Making it worse? How could it be worse?


So demands a character in Monty Python's immortal Life of Brian as he's about to get stoned to death for suggesting that the fish his wife prepared for supper was good enough for Jehovah. Those who watched the first instalment of Popstar to Opera Star (I refuse to follow them in conjoining opera star into a new word) might well have asked the same question. Sadly, ITV was ready, willing, and able to demonstrate the foolishness of asking such questions: it was straight over the precipice in top gear as songs, heaven forfend arias, with increasingly tenuous connections to the world of opera were trotted out and, frankly, stoned to death. So, here it is, tweet by tweet (albeit somewhat time delayed, as I was once again at a proper concert), as @wheresrunnicles saw it.

Warning, as with last week's instalment, the following may contain traces of irony:

Commencing my time delayed #popstarstooperastars tweeting

"Today our pop stars are pushed to their limits". To, you say. Hmm, I think they need to look behind them (possibly using the Hubble)

[West Wing fans, spot the reference!]

"To learn a completely new song." Yes, for god's sake let's not challenge the audience by calling it an aria

You can't argue with that, Katherine Jenkins does indeed "have a simply staggering voice"......

What's the challenge of singing in a foreign language? Good question - what Laurence Lewellyn Bowen would know about that is a better one

Incidentally, tonight's whisky is a cask strength Caol Ila (bottle doesn't give an age so presumably less than ten years)

These really seem to be the most unproductive rehearsals I have ever witnessed.

"Is this in French?" he asks after having been rehearsing it for some time - I wonder if this is all really some comic setup

@DrGeoduck well, she tends to sound pretty terrible to me

[DrGeoduck had suggested that Jenkins' voice was simply dull.]

To be filed under: for the love of God why? RT @TimesMusic Viva Forever: Mamma Mia creator creates Spice Girls musical http://bit.ly/7ApuXk

[Oh, sorry, that's a completely unrelated but no less appalling musical travesty, please disregard.]

Good grief - there's a chorus in this number. I know music students are hard up, but surely it's not that bad???

I wonder if Meat Loaf needs to be sedated?

@Kateviola it's certainly easing the pain

[@Kateviola had expressed the view that the Caol Ila was a good choice.]

Are they trying to cut this ironically - if so, the exert that just followed "she's got a beautiful voice" was judged to perfection

Are the people on the panel not allowed to say anything critical to any of these people. I thought that was the point of talent shows

Ah yes, that well known opera aria, the love theme from The Godfather. I don't know that opera - can anyone tell me who wrote it?

But I'm impressed they're ploughing the more obscure parts of the canon amidst all the well known favourites

Ah, I take it back, there is criticism - she was slightly ahead of the orchestra (but that doesn't matter to our Katherine)

RT @STManson @wheresrunnicles It's from the Opera-"The Public Won't Know So Let's Just Sing Opera-Like Things"

[@STManson provides an answer to my question about that obscure opera The Godfather.]

And just what the **** (if you'll pardon my French) does this Volare thing have to do with opera?

[That would be this Volare thing. Apparently Pavarotti sang it once.]

I think I need something stiffer than this cask strength whisky. I mean they want him to sing it in an opera way, what next, Iron Maiden?

"You did something with your hand and it was sexy." - okay, now I'm really disturbed

[As if in answer to that unasked question as to whether Meat Loaf could do anything to make his contribution to the programme any more disturbing, he demonstrated that indeed he could.]

Well quite! (Though I can proudly say I have no idea what that sounds like) RT @Gert @wheresrunnicles Or the theme from The One Show?

[@Gert provides a possible answer to my Iron Maiden question.]

15p from each call goes to Music Therapy charity Nordoff-Robbins. That's nice, but give directly and ITV doesn't get 35p http://is.gd/6Q5QG

[Yes, even amidst my mockery there is time for something serious - it's a good cause, and you can give without ITV getting a penny.]

Oh, what a coincidence, once again the judges are tied. If I was cynical, I' d suggest that was contrived, but that would never happen.....

And that concludes the not particularly live tweeting of part two of #popstarstooperastars

[Well, with the exception of a few comments to @karenasoprano while she watched it the next day.]

@karenasoprano oh, just you wait until you get onto some of the later stuff whose connection to opera is beyond tenuous

@karenasoprano i.e. Pavarotti once sung happy birthday, I want you to sing it in an operatic manner (okay, I exaggerate, but barely)

@karenasoprano Indeed. @STManson tells me: It's from the Opera-"The Public Won't Know So Let's Just Sing Opera-Like Things"

@karenasoprano It gets worse.

And that really is it. @wheresrunnicles' live(ish) tweeting may well return next week (though it will not be live - I have a leaving do for a colleague).

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