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Time to change the guard? Kiri, Kath and Russell Watson to sing for the Queen

Stifle the yawns. The lineup has been announced for a Buckingham Palace music extravaganza to mark 60 years since the Queen’s Coronation and, forgive me for a hint of disloyalty, but it’s the same old, same old, faces and voices. Kiri te Kanawa (anthem), Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson…

Watson boasts in the papers that it’s his third royal summons. The BBC describe him as an ‘opera singer.’ (Tony Hall, are you reading?)

Is this the best the household staff could think of to set before the Queen?


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  1. Alison says:

    Fear of elitism (or the tabloids) in evidence again?

  2. Papers consistently refer to Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson as “opera” singers. I have often made comments on their sites about the inaccuracy of this label, but do they pay any heed to me? No!

    Kiri te Kanawa was a fine opera singer in her day, but I heard her singing about five years ago and thought then that it was time she retired gracefully.

    There are many excellent singers in their vocal prime who could have been chosen to sing at this concert,. Perhaps the household staff know nothing about them!

  3. The Queen and her staff probably had nothing to do with selecting the artists. I guess they probably just hired an “entertainment” company to organise the whole thing. Hence, Jenkins and Watson… Wouldn’t it be nice if they would one day invite the proper singers who are performing professionally at respectable opera houses or concert halls instead?

    • JUne Lamb says:

      Nice to know the cultural snobs do’t always get their own way!

      • Alison says:

        Here we go. As night follows day, a “snob” comment.

        You think snobs usually “get their own way” do you? As “Watson boasts in the papers that it’s his third royal summons”, he seems to be doing rather well at getting his own way, don’t you think? KJ seems to be quite well exposed as well.

      • Looking for an example of snobbery?

        A couple of years ago, Russell Watson said: “If you want Hamilton Smeeton-Smythe, who’s trained at the Royal College of Music in London and is technically amazing, then I might as well just walk out…”


        I’m sure Thomas Allen, from a mining family in Durham, raised an eyebrow at that comment.

  4. stereo says:

    why not Tom Allen fantastic singer.

  5. Look at this another way. The seriously good singers are, most likely, working. Which leaves….

  6. Annette Fice says:

    I am so happy For Russell Watson to be singing at Buckingham Palace. He is a superb Classical crossover Singer who can sing anything. I see him live every year in concert and before you judge him go and see him live he literally sings with such emotion and feeling. He is my Favourite I have never found anyone better i like the old Opera Greats as well and some new Classical Stars, also glad for Katherine and Kiwi too I agree with June that this is Snobbery in the music world and the comment about Russell getting his Own Way is Bizzarre ! Dont Forget he had a no 1 British Album called ‘Anthems Music To Inspire A Nation’ Last Year and Russell always sells out The RAH even doing it twice in one day. The Peoples Tenor -I Rest my Case I cant think of anyone better too sing for The Queen !

    • Alison says:

      But you haven’t really made a “case”, have you?

      If you like RW, then fine, but he is not entitled to immunity from criticism any more than anyone else. Simply dismissing it as “snobbery” without any explanation is sadly typical of a proportion of his fan base. No comment on RW’s rather obnoxious inverted snobbery, I see.

      The fact remains that, in his own words, this is “his third royal summons”. How about giving someone else an opportunity? What’s so “bizarre” about that?

  7. Apparently, our Russell isn’t content with his regular royal summonses.

    From interview in DigitalSpy last year, when asked if there is anything else he would like to achieve: “The Olympics please! What I can’t understand is why they haven’t thought of having a bloke that’s survived two f**king brain tumours, who’s the best-known tenor in the UK and has been around for ages and can sing like I can sing to perform at the Olympics…….”


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