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Voice teacher’s video gets two million hits in a weekend

Unless you’ve spent the last summer weekend in an igloo, you’ll know what happened at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night.

Kristin Chenoweth was singing and, looking for a duet partner in the audience, just happened to pick voice teacher Sarah Horn, who proceeded to blow the pro halfway across the stage. It’s a lovely moment on video. You can watch it here, along with Sarah’s account of the proceedings.

Was she an audience plant? UPDATE: We are assured by a Los Angeles Philharmonic staffer who was there on the night that Sarah was a complete unknown to the promoters, totally unplanned. ‘I got goose-bumps,’ says our informant.

sarah horn

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Comments

  1. richardcarlisle says:

    Looks more rehearsed than anything’s EVER been rehearsed is my vote.

    • Marguerite Foxon says:

      Absolutely – there is no sign at all that this woman doesnt know exactly what she is going to do on stage and she has all those words down pat. Provided the audience with a laugh and good on KC for being willing to be upstaged but surely doesnt look spontaneous to me.

    • I totally agree.

    • It’s definitely not rehearsed, if you saw Kristen’s face. And when it comes to famous songs like “Because I Knew You,” it’s so well known and done often enough that any professional in the industry could most likely pick it up if prompted, which was what happened in this case. They got the harmonies right because anyone who’s sang this song before would know the harmonies. In this case, a female professional musical theatre teacher would definitely know the harmonies to an over-done song like this one. But I’m glad actors in the musical theatre industry are so prepared that they fooled you :)
      Sincerely,
      An equity professional NY actress that can easily sing this song in her sleep

      • richardcarlisle says:

        @Kate

        In admiring your capacity for trust agree I must the harmony is no argument but just HOW do you proceed with who takes what solo part unless you’re dealing with identical twins having a flair for ultra telepathy… and that overblown enthusiasm by Kristen– a phony ring does this bell possess…. good decision not to sing opera any longer I might add (except for special roles demanding a voice just a bit — and I must beg forgiveness for redundancy but there is no better way to describe it — retired cheerleader raspy).

        • Stephen Owades says:

          Kristin Chenoweth tells her volunteer colleague what role she’ll be singing, and even reminds her before the second stanza that this part is still hers. It didn’t require telepathy to get the part assignments right.

          Chenoweth repeated the same stunt the next day, choosing a Boston Conservatory voice student named Kellie McKay from the audience. That version can also be found online; see http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/news/singing-kristin-chenoweth for more information. And I think this duet is a regular part of Chenoweth’s live shows, which means that talented and ambitious music-theater singers attending her shows are likely to prepare this (fairly familiar) number “just in case.”

          • richardcarlisle says:

            To be proven wrong is to know you’re in good company… I thank all involved for commendable courtesy in view of my misinterpretation and I would further like to now help others avoid the kind of incident that led in part to my heightened sense of fraud paranoia.

            Here’s what happened yesterday A.M. –

            My two-week-old Acer chromebook suddenly quit providing gmail service after performing wonderfully from the time I purchased it, so I googled Gmail failure, found a website offering gmail help and called the toll-free number provided.

            I connected with a high-speed Indian accent moderately difficult to comprehend and was lectured on how my Chromebook was not intended for Gmail and did I have a computer to let him have access to the problem and solve it for me.

            He soon had access to my Windows laptop computer and took over the cursor to display how others had hacked my email and how necessary was his virus protection that would cost $149 for one year or $200 for two years, to which I said it would cost about the same to buy another computer and I would do that BUT he then had the nerve to say the new computer would be compromised since the hacking was directly in the gmail system.

            OK, needless to say I smelled a rat — so I tried to get off the line only to have him in desperation refer me to his superior who then got on with an even faster Indian accent leading me to respond rudely as possible saying I would call him back after thinking about it — finally hanging up on him.

            Then in a relatively heightened state of anxiety I called Geek Squad at Best Buy, was told to reboot, which I did –found everything working good as new– problem totally corrected.

            Ironically I had called another apparently legit number months ago for help with a similar problem and received the same treatment/same accent… alerting me to suspect the high-speed Indian accent more quickly this time.

            The tricky part of all this is the fact a toll-free number is provided on an apparently legitimate website to contact someone for apparently free help and it’s JUST A TRAP (researching the matter later revealed the so-called “protection” for all that money is bogus).

            This all adds up to two forms of advice: ALWAYS REBOOT — no matter what the problem is or seems to be.

            NEVER-NEVER-NEVER LET A HIGH-SPEED INDIAN ACCENT SELL YOU ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!

            Perhaps this will help one of you fine co-commenters some day avoid the kind of aggravation and almost expense I endured.

            Remember to suspect ANYTHING that seems too good to be true … unless it’s being presented by Kristin Chenoweth.

    • I know her drummer who has been touring with Kristen for years. He thinks it’s hilarious that people think there are plants to sing this duet when there are thousands of aspiring musical theater singers all over the world who can sing this Elphaba part, like the reader above who says she can “sing this in her sleep.” Stop the conspiracy theories people. She was in LA, she got a great singer. According to her drummer, who has been friends with me longer than drumming for her, these singers are not plants. And he doesn’t get paid that much to lie about this, trust me!

  2. Tremendous!

  3. Well! What an experience. Kristen Chenoweth has one of the great voices of pop music, though she could sing opera if she wanted too. However, she’s not the only person especially in and around Hollywood who has one. Sarah Horn obviously has the bigger voice, as well as the training, and the talent to do the job, Was this a plant, who knows. But given that the “amateur” out sing the “star” in this instance shows us there are plenty of people out there who have the talent, but have not had the opportunity to use it.

    • MsmezzoNYC says:

      “great voices of pop music, though she could sing opera if she wanted too”. Seriously? Kristen Chenoweth really never needs to sing opera, and the fact that she was out sung by a random person from the audience made me very happy. Can’t stand that nasal voice…. sorry.

    • Melinda West says:

      Amen John!!! And I don’t think she was a plant, but she has the voice and we need people like that teaching music to our children in the schools!!

    • John, Kristin has a master’s degree in opera performance, and was headed in that direction professionally, when Broadway derailed her. However, she still performs opera professionally on occasion. Check her out, singing “Glitter and Be Gay” on Youtube. Yes, it’s an operatic aria! :)

  4. David Hutchings says:

    Seems I was living in an igloo!

  5. Wonderful!!! I hope this results in good things professionally for Ms. Horn.

  6. Looks like richardcarlisle is outvoted here. Really, why would KC deliberately bring on stage to sing someone whose voice is clearly superior to her own? No, it was NOT rehearsed, at all. This young woman simply knew the song well and KC was totally surprised and unprepared for what happened. The next evening when the program was repeated, she asked what those who volunteered did for a living BEFORE bringing anyone on stage. She finally selected a young conservatory student who also sang very well but certainly not as spectacularly as Sarah did the night before.

  7. John Parfrey says:
  8. Marguerite Foxon says:

    Clearly I am an igloo dweller. Actually, no, Im an opera house and concert venue dweller.

  9. richardcarlisle says:

    Kristin’s voice — well suited for Broadway as are the voices of most retired cheerleaders — would have to wait for opera to change standards before that door might open for her.

  10. I LOVED this! Hooray for voice teachers!

  11. Liberace used to do this too…

  12. richardcarlisle says:

    Have to add the advertising payoff for youtube views is ten grand per million hits– well worth putting a good act together.

  13. richardcarlisle says:

    I’m not a stubborn skeptic and would greatly appreciate knowing my conception of what I see in this matter is incorrect… bring the truth out — via lie detector?

    Even that elaborate background story given us by M2N2K is so long-winded it looks like something a PR pro helped assemble… this is all nothing short of surreal and a relief it will be if we get to the truth somehow.

  14. richardcarlisle says:

    http://youtu.be/I9VauO4UkGU

    Well, I’ve found a parallel performance from a year ago and the whole business surreal though it may be looks authentic… Kristin’s voice wasn’t so rough back then– hope her condition improves and justifies a singing rather than acting career in the future.

  15. John Birge says:

    A great story.
    But also fascinating that this has gone viral *now*, because for more than a year Kristin Chenoweth has made this bit a part of her act.

    …in Detroit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9VauO4UkGU
    …in Cleveland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19GBJPEhyYs
    …in Atlanta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MxvOHvGztU
    …in DC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7KTuma6jUo
    … another venue in LA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiImvQTI5ZE
    …and the night after Sarah Horn, another singer at the Hollywood Bowl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JXFxtfOpxo&list=PLxrx8HUv1-kVy5uaSXaldI2ItniN4gDsJ#t=97

    The clips make for interesting comparison; different amateur singers — and often the exact same “spontaneous” reaction from Chenoweth). A reminder of how much excellent talent is out there.
    It doesn’t take American Idol to find it.

  16. richardcarlisle says:

    Some kind of actress really…might well phase into that showbiz cubbyhole, with what’s happening to her voice; I for one find her adorable on mute.

  17. robcat2075 says:

    The old music impresario joke used to be “I can throw a dime out this window and hit a soprano on the head.” We are not a nation completely populated by the tone-deaf.

    So, no, an occurrence like this doesn’t have to be a “set up”. People who knew the music well would be in abundance at this concert anyway and Kristen Chenowith makes an effort beforehand to find someone who at least THINKS they can sing the song. That’s a lot of weeding out right there.

    Do that enough times on a concert tour and someone will pop up who can do better than muddle through it.

    Fine performance by Sarah Horn!

  18. Glad to welcome richardcarlisle back to the land of reason.
    Here is more on Sarah Horn, including a video interview with her:
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-hollywood-bowl-invites-sarah-horn-back-20130827,0,1444311.story

  19. richardcarlisle says:

    I moved this forward to bring all concerned up to date and avoid being continuously scolded unnecessarily:

    August 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    To be proven wrong is to know you’re in good company… I thank all involved for commendable courtesy in view of my misinterpretation and I would further like to now help others avoid the kind of incident that led in part to my heightened sense of fraud paranoia.

    Here’s what happened yesterday A.M. –

    My two-week-old Acer chromebook suddenly quit providing gmail service after performing wonderfully from the time I purchased it, so I googled Gmail failure, found a website offering gmail help and called the toll-free number provided.

    I connected with a high-speed Indian accent moderately difficult to comprehend and was lectured on how my Chromebook was not intended for Gmail and did I have a computer to let him have access to the problem and solve it for me.

    He soon had access to my Windows laptop computer and took over the cursor to display how others had hacked my email and how necessary was his virus protection that would cost $149 for one year or $200 for two years, to which I said it would cost about the same to buy another computer and I would do that BUT he then had the nerve to say the new computer would be compromised since the hacking was directly in the gmail system.

    OK, needless to say I smelled a rat — so I tried to get off the line only to have him in desperation refer me to his superior who then got on with an even faster Indian accent leading me to respond rudely as possible saying I would call him back after thinking about it — finally hanging up on him.

    Then in a relatively heightened state of anxiety I called Geek Squad at Best Buy, was told to reboot, which I did –found everything working good as new– problem totally corrected.

    Ironically I had called another apparently legit number months ago for help with a similar problem and received the same treatment/same accent… alerting me to suspect the high-speed Indian accent more quickly this time.

    The tricky part of all this is the fact a toll-free number is provided on an apparently legitimate website to contact someone for apparently free help and it’s JUST A TRAP (researching the matter later revealed the so-called “protection” for all that money is bogus).

    This all adds up to two forms of advice: ALWAYS REBOOT — no matter what the problem is or seems to be.

    NEVER-NEVER-NEVER LET A HIGH-SPEED INDIAN ACCENT SELL YOU ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!

    Perhaps this will help one of you fine co-commenters some day avoid the kind of aggravation and almost expense I endured.

    Remember to suspect ANYTHING that seems too good to be true … unless it’s being presented by Kristin Chenoweth.

  20. pandabare says:

    As a voice teacher, TRUST ME when I say that it is completely feasible for someone to be pulled up onstage and deliver this performance without a rehearsal. If you teach middle school / high school girls you, then you have played and sung pretty much every number in Wicked until your ears bled. These songs are VERY popular with the 11-17 age range of aspiring young singers. lol.

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