Sunday, 12 June 2011

How Many Judges Make Five?

A second series of Popstar to Operastar is now currently back on our ITV1 screens and week one saw the demise of the womanising Duke of Mantua as sung by Midge Ure. His short aria, Questa O Quella, (One is as fair as the other), was further shortened by cutting out half of the first verse and his performance could hardly be classed as murder on the high ‘C’s because it’s much harder to crack when merely singing at half voice. This doesn’t mean Midge is a bad performer though. Indeed, he is a brilliant performer of his own well honed genre and deserves fair credit for doing his best in learning to do in the space of six weeks an art form that takes years of hard work to perfect. After all, he did attempt to render a tenor aria while in the womanising character. Again however, the male voice is naturally seated in the baritone range which means that both tenors and basses have to develop their natural talents further to be able to work through their gifted upper or lower ranges instead.

Personally I would like the program to have more arias and less film shows about how they rehearsed for their not so big moment… But that’s just me and what do I know? My infamous “Vesti La Guibba” at Battersea Town Hall in the 50s must have prompted the management to install more exits to cope with the rush if I ever came back again. I blamed the pianist… He kept to all the correct notes as written!

Maths was never a strong point of mine either… I always thought that you would need an odd number of judges to get a casting vote out of the last voter? But again, what do I know.. After years of chairing school admission/exclusion appeals, (expenses and custard creams only), maybe it was me that got it all wrong? After all, Popstar to Operastar can get a casting vote from just four judges. Cut backs again! So… “It was two all Midge… You were the weakest tie… Goodbye!

Of course as we all know, that particular aria was part of the opening orgy scene from Rigoletto by Verdi and without dressing in character there was little point of acting it out any better anyway. Well there aren’t many orgy scenes to be had on the concert platform are there? Well what do I know? All the orgies I’ve ever been to seem to have lasted forever… (You just need to stop the fat Ladies from singing that's all).

The reasoning behind the voting system was explained better in week two? One of the two mentors will be the head judge in deciding who to keep in if the situation is a tie????????????

All will be forgiven by me though, if Kathleen and Rolando will perform “O Soave Fanciulla.” That’ll be wicked innit Guv. At least I know that much.

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