When professionals can’t do it either…

A friend of mine who works as a professional chorus member recently ended up travelling home on the train alongside a string-player, who had played on the dread ITV ‘Popstar to Operastar‘ programme that week. In talking about their respective jobs, the string-player was expressing her absolute shock at the manner in which one of the singing coaches on the panel  had needed to record their aria.

Popstar to Operstar logoEach week, both of the professional singers on the panel act as vocal coach or mentor to some of the ‘celebrities’ battling to put to the sword another famous aria before the great viewing public; sometimes, as a ‘this is how it should be done’ demonstration, one or other of them will perform an aria for the audience. The aria is pre-recorded, and then broadcast during the programme.

Now, this particular string-player was recounting how one member had got up to record their aria, and nailed it in one or two takes. The other, however, had to record their aria line by line.

Let me repeat that: line by line.

If someone sets out to act as a vocal coach, mentoring people through the myriad intricacies of classical singing and performance technique, with a recording and performing career of their own, is it not reasonable to assume they can deliver the goods when required ? I’m not sure precisely how many lines were in the aria they were recording that week, but that does seem an excessive way to have to record the piece.

I have no evidence to support this story; it’s simply been recounted. I’d love to know if it were true, though…

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