Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
Few sharps, mostly flats. The vid has just gone online. Watch here:
What was the title of the previous thread again…..”Why European maestros despair of US orchestras”?
Why must we stoop to this corrupt pagan nonsense to make a living?
I think this is quite wonderful!
I was saddened to see this video. Placido Domingo is one of the world’s great singers and I do not think he needs the money he received by performing with a pretty girl who epitomises everything that is musical “bling”!
Horrors. Placido looks a bit pained. The whole business is painful… do they pay people to applaud like that, or have aesthetic values really sunk this far? Heart sinking by the minute…
Some forms of stupidity provoke sorrow, some outrage, some ridicule. I think this fits the latter category, and the big mistake is to take it seriously. Schools giving courses in music appreciation can play it to demonstrate the differences between entertainment and art.
Entertainment is about meeting audience expectations! Arts is about reaching for heights, mostly unattainable, but in any case in which the audience are essentially willing voyeurs to the artistic indulgence of the artist/s, however, much artistry can be brought to forms that are in themselves not artistic, e.g. a great actor playing a role in a schlock film, so it’s not all black and white.
Domingo needs an English language coach -. Carreras had one when recording West Side Story.
Why did that dancing remind me of the last scene from Carmen? A nice distraction though from her high screech at the end…
Domingo has previously performed a duet with Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show, (sorry dont know how to embed the youtube link – just search their names). So in a way, this is really a bit of a step up.
Give the poor girl a break – her singing is not great but it is better than mine !
No, it’s a step down.
Considering the vast sums of money she is making, her singing should be amazing!! Are we being ripped off?
Blonde + Welsh = Cognitive Dissonance.
He needs the money!
Oh yuck. Please get me a bucket. I think Domingo should have retired while he was still credible. It’s just sad and pitiful to see this codswallop.
i heard Domingo at the Met a year and a half ago. He sounded fine. In fact, I thought he chose his role well, to keep his voice in a comfortable range. Has his voice faltered since then?
William, I thought he and Graham were excellent in that Gluck opera, which may be the same thing you heard him in a year and a half ago. His ever-postponed retirement is controversial, and he has a lot of critics who think he should call it a day because he isn’t what he was 40, 20, even 10 years ago. Even some of his supporters are uncomfortable with his essaying so many baritone roles (the original ambition to sing Simon Boccanegra in his sunset has now encompassed Foscari, Nabucco, Giorgio Germont at the Met opposite Damrau soon, possibly Wagner’s Dutchman, who knows what else). But allowing for his age and the length of time he’s been singing, he does still sing well. He even sounds “good” here, in this treacle from DWTS. It’s just hard to keep from asking…why? The track listing of his new album seems like a test for any fan’s devotion, and on the other hand I don’t see how it would interest non-fans. People who don’t follow opera singers and who want to hear the song from “Titanic” (which is one of the tracks) are going to get their fix from other acts who have gotten there ahead of him.
“Iphigenie en Tauride” — yes, that’s the opera in which I heard Domingo in 2011. I agree that he was in very good voice.
I agree that his fach is wrong for those baritone roles, but lower-lying dramatic tenor roles seem to suit him well right now. Kudos to him for singing them instead of pushing his voice to do roles that he shouldn’t at this point.
This lollipop? I hope he’s laughing all the way to the bank — or perhaps funding a charity with the proceeds.
As for her, she sounds much better than most pop singers.
He also sounded in very good voice for Enchanted Island last year and good to very good in Due Fosari this year (although Foscari is one of those roles many – although not I – suggest he should not sing).
Don’t forget that Domingo once recorded a cut with John Denver. It was–in a word–ridiculous.
I listened to his and Harry Connick Jr.’s new duet recording of “Time After Time” (the 1940s standard, not the Cyndi Lauper hit), because I like that song. And I love Domingo — even now — but hearing him stiffly feeling his way through both the swing rhythms and the English words, I found myself wishing Connick would just take over and sing all of it. I couldn’t work out why Domingo was even there.
That song makes a weird duet choice anyway.
Oh lighten up . It is show business!
Right you are!
What is this transpiration of all this cheese for? To feed the third world?
Oh dear! Even Placido was showing some decolletage….he sang without a tie!
Well said, Cathy, I cannot believe people can actually be this nasty and closed minded about a respected opera singer who has done and is still doing so much for opera and young artists. Young opera singers acknowledge that the John Denver duet led them to become opera singers and 1000′s more young opera lovers, me included, were led to opera by Plácido’s crossover songs. He certainly does not need the money. Bravo Domingo!
pair her with Bocelli,now that would be something!!
Yes this is bad. However, it is the dreadful lack of artistry, legato, bel canto and the presence of poor intonation in Domingo’s anti -performance which is more striking than the quite pleasant and attractive looking woman singer who is just another American show biz joke.
Money and success are not good for quality in music, musicians and great performers.
Lack of money, dreams ideals coupled with talent work and humility are the ingredients of the great masters.
We all remember the modest man Domingo at his greatest and now we see the damage done to him in his affluence and to our youth who do not remember him in the seventies and eighties but mistakenly assume that this kind of bad singing is great.
Kaff is Welsh, and the most highly paid ‘ Opera’ singer in the world. She is the biggest showbiz… Well not joke, more punch in the face to real opera singers struggling to make ends meet and living in financial poverty.
Now, I saw Domingo in Enchanted Island. While his English diction, indeed, was pitiful, his voice was not. Neither was it during the broadcast of Due Foscari from LA. He no longer possesses a 50-year-old’s voice, but I would never presume to judge him based on an English-language pop song on a dance show. I would rather judge him on actual opera performances.
I might also judge him on the tremendous support and guidance he gives to younger singers and musicians, rather than assume based on one performance that he must be lazy and arrogant.
Oh, you all are being too hard on Domingo. He has a new duets album and he received a nice bit of promotion. By the way, so did music that wasn’t rap or techno dance. There are very few names in classical music that would ever get a spot on Dancing With The Stars. We should be grateful Domingo continues to reach over the ridiculous barrier many in the classical world want to erect between it and other music.
Jenkins is, well, Jenkins. I do not understand why she is not receiving training. Nevertheless, she was not singing opera or calling herself an opera star, so I cannot complain.
Not that she can’t afford training, besides, didn’t I read somewhere that Domingo was ‘ training’ her?!
“We should be grateful Domingo continues to reach over the ridiculous barrier many in the classical world want to erect between it and other music.”
And this is confined to classical? Classical musicians perform jazz – the jazz fraternity complains (I’ve lost track of the number of instances where jazzers have claimed that classical musicians are automatons who can’t do this or that). Classical musicians perform rock – the rock fraternity complains (“Deep Purple’s backing group”).
If Domingo chooses to pair up with a third rater instead of an aspiring opera singer who could benefit from the publicity and experience, it’s not unreasonable to comment.
Kaff is certainly not regarded as a third rater. To the mainstream, she is indeed regarded as the pick of the crop. She has outsold Maria Callas, and, is not only the highest paid opera singer in the world, but also the highest paid classical musician. It looks more like Domingo is using her to revive his own flagging career, perish the thought.
Ah! Perish the thought, indeed, that Placido could stoop so low to ‘revive’ his career!
“She has outsold Maria Callas”
And The Sun outsells the broadsheets.
Domingo’s career as an operatic tenor (ie: a tenor who sings IN operas) is bound to flag – it happens when you haven’t made your career behind a microphone.
You’re right. It’s certainly not confined to classical.
Domingo sings regularly with young opera singers – he even started a competition. He also seems to follow through by actually casting those who do well in the competition. This was about exposing the audience in the US to something besides pop, rap and rock.
And make no mistake, he was there in no small part thanks to Jenkins. Her connection with the show must have made booking one of the most coveted performance slots on US television much easier. I have no doubt this will be the only time this year an opera singer will be on any major performance program, including the late night shows. Such is our pop culture television.
Geez, what a bunch of old hens.
I have zero interest in KJ, but the cluck-clucking of the detractors here, not to mention the effort, time, and angst expended is a total waste of bandwidth.
Why would you spend one minute of your day listening to music that you don’t like, much less getting into a dither over it?
Life’s too short; listen to what you like, and ignore the rest.
No I don’t quite agree although I understand your point.
There is a moral perspective and it needs to be discussed. If you mean cluck-clucking as moralism then I agree with you 100%.
However not to spend time on discussing the morality of showbiz taking over the world of the arts and then presenting rubbish as quality arts just because it sells to the uneducated and unitiated which is to “put a stumbling block before the blind” would deny any chance of reversing the negative trend.
I think Domingo is more at fault than the girl whoever she is. He still has a moral duty as representative of being amongst the greatest of his time.
This is only my opinion. So many people live in a post-moral world where there is no difference between
Domingo and the girl. I don’t know her name….
I was linking the deterioration in his singing to the deteriorated state of morality.
If there is no difference between the girl and a great operatic tenor then there is also no need for a difference between Domingo at his best and this poor performance.
Current values of eroded morality contribute as well as the greasing of palms with vast fees but I would hope that someone of Domingo’s stature could say no to such an offer.
Possibly he is responsible for this. (It is also possible that he knows he is finished and is quicky raising as much money as possible as a pension plan before it is too late)
The girl, is a self styled opera singer who has never sung an operatic role in her life, but is still marketed by the main stream media as something she is not!!!
I think you should look at a recent Slipped Disc log about KJ.
Tells you all you need to know about this particular woman.
Exactly! That is my main point……
Kaff probably is richer than Domingo now, so he’s using his association with her to boost his own public profile. Except he was great. She never will be.
Placido was great voicing a dog for a Disney film. Beverley Hills Chihuahua.
The city of Christchurch, New Zealand was badly damaged by two massive earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The city council and the government have been paralysed by indecision and incompetence and have done little to help the stricken citizens. The insurance companies have avoided their obligations by hiding behind legal obfuscation. Only Placido Domingo and Kathryn Jenkins seem to have done anything constructive.
They turned up and announced they were giving a concert, with all proceeds going to the relief fund. I don’t know what the nature of the programme was, and I don’t care. I wasn’t able to attend, but had I been in the city at the time I would have gone, despite Ms Jenkins’ reputation amongst self-styled “genuine” opera-lovers. Domingo was clearly motivated by his memory of the disastrous Mexico City earthquake, but provided his charitable services to a country which he has briefly visited only once before.
They did something. And at least Ms Jenkins is a much better singer than New Zealand’s own Hayley Westenra, who appears to be what the modern incarnation of Decca thinks is a classical opera singer. If you want the definition of a truly dreadful pop-opera exponent, go no further.
Hayley Westenra hasn’t been as rabid in self promotion as Kaff, and damn it, her technique is much better!!
And she’s still at it!!
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
Follow him on FB: Facebook and on Twitter @NLebrecht
More Lebrecht @ normanlebrecht.com
Enter your email address:
December 11, 2013 13 Comments
December 11, 2013 14 Comments
December 11, 2013 1 Comment
December 11, 2013 2 Comments
December 11, 2013 12 Comments
December 10, 2013 23 Comments
December 10, 2013 14 Comments
December 10, 2013 3 Comments
December 10, 2013 Leave a Comment
an ArtsJournal blog