Monday, 11 October 2010

Joan Sutherland - diva extraordinaire

When I listen to the entrants on the X Factor tootling or howling into a microphone, only to be told they have wonderful voices, I often wonder if the modern generation has a clue about what actually makes a wonderful voice. One thing it is not - that is screaming a melody into a microphone while bending ones knees.

Joan Sutherland, who died today, was someone who could fill the Lincoln Centre in New York with the most glorious sound - as clear at the back of the Upper Circle as it was in the stalls. No mikes, no tricks, no gimmicks. She, with a host of other amazing opera stars, spent years learning their trade before casting themselves onto the world stage.

Sometimes I meet youngsters, who love music and spent all their time singing. But how many of them ever think of taking lessons, of learning how to breathe and project their voices?

I pray that opera won't head down the pathway of literature where good books are being upstaged by computer games.

Thank God, a few of us will mourn ...

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